I’m not talking about the movie or a public holiday when I say Independents’ Day, as you can see from the spelling. I predict that in the future, people will look back on the second decade of the 21st century and call it the Age of Independents.
No longer is it only ‘sisters doing it for themselves’ – to steal a line from the famous song – but authors, musicians, film producers and even politicians are becoming much more aware of the fact that they can also ‘do it for themselves’ with hard work and perseverance.
All through history there have been individuals in various fields who have independently gone their own way, often expressing views that landed them in hot water. Many suffered ridicule or worse at the hands of their peers and were often ostracized by the society of their day. In recent years there has been a big change in attitude. People are beginning to realize that big does not always mean better and small can often be smarter.
We have recently had elections here in Ireland for seats on county and city local authorities. One of the exit polls shows Independents taking 34% of the local election vote. There are also independent politicians with seats on the European Parliament who can throw a spanner into the works with their diversity, due to being free from party politics. Whether this will prove to be a good thing in the long run or not, only time will tell. The point I’m making is that even in the political arena a person can independently run for election and a significant amount of people will support her/him.
Some of my favourite musicians and authors are ‘Indies’ or self-published and there are many great movies and documentaries being produced by independent means. Even in the world of business, many small companies and sole traders are managing to hold their own. Artists of every medium are reaching customers via the internet and there is something very special about purchasing directly from it’s creator, a piece of jewelry or pottery at their market stall or workshop.
We don’t have to wait for someone else to approve of us or our work. We can take the initiative and get out there and do it for ourselves – this is what every student should take away with them when they have completed their formal education. Sometimes there are just no jobs to be found and many of us have the capability to create our own income. We should never rush headlong into something without thinking it through and getting advice; however, fear of failure or making mistakes shouldn’t hold us back. This is one of the most important lessons to be learned in preparing for life as an adult.
These are great times to be creative in. You don’t have to be a starving artist, or an impoverished writer. You can earn a living by whatever means necessary while you get your work out there in the hopes of finding people who will support your talent. Even if you are never in a position to give up ‘the day job’ you will have taken a leap into the Age of Independents in the twenty first century.
Listen to what Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox have to say. I dedicate this video to all the sisters AND brothers who are doing it for themselves, and to those who are supporting them in their efforts.