|One small dig in the garden, one giant leap to family freedom...|
Aiming to be self-reliant is rarely comfortable or easy. I re-discovered this while cursing flying woodchips mixing with the icy rain running down my neck. A sudden especially cold gust shocked me into remembering that this uncomfortable task was what I had chosen in pursuing this path: to be solely responsible for my family’s warmth and
The thought percolated for while until I saw a local farmer, an educated man, spraying his fields with some agricultural poison. He does not question the consequences, but simply does what “they”, the “experts”, tell him to do.
I realised then that the real reason our world is in the multiply-threatened situation we now find it is that we never questioned “their” “expert” advice. In the name of a comfortable and “advanced” Western lifestyle we outsourced our responsibilities to them. “They” who grow our food, produce pharmaceuticals, utilities and municipal services, financially advise us etc. We prefer to believe that “they” have our best interests at heart rather than to accept that “they” really don’t care about the people to whom ”they” provide products or services. Their reason for doing is either to ensure an ongoing salary or that the quarterly report shows a satisfying month-on-month increase. Corporations and municipalities are not altruists.
Having sat in many boardrooms, I know that none of them, CEOs, shareholders or salaried personnel, have our families’ needs as their foremost concern. The products we buy, the services we believe we need and the marketing we say we don’t believe (yet swallow and obey anyway) are all simply to ensure that they get our money. We’re the true creators of value represented as money, and the provision of goods and services to us in exchange for that is merely the serendipity of the providers’ activities, not their focus. The only time I’ve ever heard the well-being of clients being raised was when there was a danger of losing their ongoing income.
Most of us could be micro-self-sufficient, but we excuse ourselves because of the time demands of careers and lifestyles and our habitual belief in what” they” say. Yet – insanely - the only reason we do so is largely to earn what it takes to outsource the very basics in which we could be mostly independent.
Self-reliance starts when you recognise that it’s entirely possible to do most of the basics yourself. It needs a mindset change about what constitutes a good and comfortable lifestyle, and to question whether the “experts” actually do know what’s best for your family, its health, education and finances and the germ-free nature of your kitchen countertops...
It’s comfort-blanket-ish to hand over responsibility to them as their very presence implies that you can’t do without them, and that it would be detrimental your family’s wellbeing if you tried.
But when you at last take that very first step towards your family’s independence, a certain burden lifts from your shoulders...