So, you’ve decided to be strong and independent. I am happy for you, because becoming a strong, independent, self-actualized individual is the most positive thing we can do for ourselves and for others. Sadly, I find there is much conflicting information on how one demonstrates strength and independence. So, I’ve written up some suggestions. Also, feel free to suggest anything in the comments you feel are missing.
It is: Demonstrating civil behavior towards your fellow men and women, unless they show disrespect for your rights, in which case you should act in reasonable self-defense.
It is not: Treating a person with disrespect or malevolent intent.
It is: Taking ownership of your decisions, both good and bad.
It is not: Blaming your mistakes and poor decisions on another person or group of people.
It is: Perceiving fellow men and women as individuals.
It is not: Projecting fantasies, assumptions, or malevolent intent onto a person because of their race, gender, social class, or sexual orientation.
It is: In cases where social assistance is desired, this should be on the basis of real need.
It is not: Expecting handouts when you do not need them and/or because you insist you belong to an oppressed class.
It is: Engaging in relationships keeping your needs in mind, as well as your partner’s needs in mind. Demonstrate reciprocity to your partner, and expect the same out of him/her.
It is not: Expecting to be given resources and cared for because of your gender or the traditions of a bygone era.
It is: Desiring to make one’s way in the world through one’s work ethic, skills, and attributes.
It is not: Demanding an express lane to success based on your gender and manufactured social grievances.
It is: Desiring to achieve success in physical or intellectual pursuits through skill, effort, and healthy competition.
It is not: Expecting other people to let you win because of the shape of your genitals or the traditions of a bygone era.
It is: Showing loyalty to partners, friends, and allies who have stood by you.
It is not: Engaging in relationships with “what can I get out of this person” at the forefront of your mind.
It is: Making a reasonable effort to solve your problems through your own efforts or through mutually-beneficial arrangements.
It is not: Insisting that the problems you face are the responsibility of others to fix for you.
There is no doubt that being strong and independent is a tough row to hoe. I can point to numerous instances of my adult life when I’ve failed to live up to these standards. But the rewards of pursuing it are great. We develop character through overcoming challenges, owning our decisions, and holding ourselves to a code of conduct.
I believe in you.