What is financial interdependence? First of all, it’s not specifically a Catholic term (aka not from the Catechism or the Bible); rather, it’s a way of thinking that I invite you to consider.
Financial interdependence is an acknowledgment that even if we’re so-called “financially independent” (aka, don’t have to work to pay bills) or “financially dependent” (aka, we rely on someone else to pay bills), we all still rely on God and on each other regardless of our financial state in life.
The pursuit of financial independence isn’t bad, in and of itself. But if it’s approached with the mindset that you will become totally self-reliant when you reach it, then you will be disappointed, and you may be humbled.
For one, we always rely on God, even if we don’t acknowledge it. Secondly, if you’re someone who has enough wealth to never have to work again, I’m going to guess that you can’t do all the tasks required to stay alive: harvest all of your food, fix your roof, perform heart surgery on yourself should you need it, fill a cavity, etc.
All of these things require other people. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t last very long on Earth if everyone else died.
And so, even if I become “financially independent” I still depend on other people to show up for their jobs so that I can live and thrive. Not only that, but other people will rely on me to do my part to keep society going. That could be family members or friends. That could be the restaurant down the street that relies on customers like yourself to keep its doors open.
So that point isn’t that you become so wealthy that you no longer need other people. Imagine, if you had become financially independent the day before the country went into lockdown. How much good would your money in the bank do if no one was willing to show up to the grocery store to work? Or if no one was willing to go grocery shopping for you?
Whether you’re pursuing financial independence or not, I encourage you to remember that we are a communion of saints. We are made to rely on each other and on God. That’s a beautiful thing. Living in a castle all alone surrounded by riches can be a lonely life indeed.
From the Catechism:
- 2444 “The Church’s love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition.” This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor.235 Love for the poor is even one of the motives for the duty of working so as to “be able to give to those in need.”