“We also call this ‘Independence Day’ – why do we call it this, do you still remember – learning this is your old school days?
We think we are “independent” and have the right to be free and we think we can realize this all by ourselves by exerting our “free will.” In some ways, this is quite true.
On Independence Day, we remember all of the hundreds and thousands of people, over how many years, who have fought and died and sacrificed themselves, just so we can enjoy such freedoms and liberties today. We think we are independent but in actuality we owe this to so many others and we don’t even know all of their names or faces to say, “thank you.” True independence is the harmony between ourselves and others around us. True independence is to realize the perfect harmony of how we are a part of the greater plan of Nature. To think that we stand alone and are “independent” in this world all by ourselves is only a distorted fantasy. . . . . We refine this understanding more deeply in our Aikido practice on the mats.”
– Rev. Kensho Furuya