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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Self Reliance

I was visiting my usual set of blogs today when I came across this blog post at the Simple Dollar. It was short and not very thorough on the subject but it was a concise reminder that people really aren't very self reliant these days. When you think about all of the things we hire out these days, it's a wonder we can do anything for ourselves. Here's a random list of things we often don't do for ourselves any more:
  • Make our morning coffee (Starbucks does this)
  • Wash, dry, and press our clothes (the cleaners does this)
  • Clean our house (the housekeeper does this)
  • Mow our yard (the yard guy or kid down the street does this)
  • Grow our food (all of our food now comes from the grocery store)
  • Catch or kill our food (again this comes from the grocery store)
  • Take care of our kids (daycare, school, and babysitters do this)
  • Cook a meal (restaurants do this)
  • Fix our car (the high-tech repair shop does this)
  • Build or repair our home (various contractors/construction people do this)
  • Repair our plumbing (we call a plumber)
  • Repair our electrical problems (we call an electrician)
  • Heal our pets (we take them to the vet)
  • Heal ourselves (we run to the clinic)
  • Talk to our friends (we text them or email them)
  • Process our own garbage (the garbage company does this)
  • Acquire water for ourselves (the water department ensures that it flows through our pipes)
  • Heat our homes with our own work gathering wood (the electric company does this)
  • Sew our own clothes (they come from the store)
  • Traverse the town or the world independently (our GPS tells us where to go)
  • Rely on ourselves in the wilderness (cell phones and satellite beacons keep track of us)
  • Bury our dead (some company whisks them away from the hospital and we never see them again)
  • Manage our money (we rely on advisers, creditors, and the government to tell us how to do this)
  • Use our own skill and judgement to make a deal (we rely on contracts to protect us from ours and others stupidity or dishonesty)
  • Save for something we need (we rely on credit)
  • Save for retirement (we think Social (in)Security will take care of us)
  • Deal with your kid's behaviour issues (we rely on school and law enforcement to do this)
  • Using your effort, wits, and skill to create a business (you rely on an employer for everything--pay rate, medical insurance, work atmosphere, etc)

Anyway, you get the idea. The bottom line is that the more you can do for yourself, the less you are at the mercy of others.


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