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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Self Reliance

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of the muscle. He has got a fine Geneva watch, but he has lost the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has, and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows as little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His notebooks impair his memory; his libraries overload his wit; the insurance-office increases the number of accidents- Self-Reliance, Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1841
The less you can do for yourself, the more you have to pay others to do it for you. As the posting Self-Reliance puts it, "Plumbers know that you’re reliant on them for your life to continue as normal, so they can charge exorbitant rates and take their sweet time solving the problem. This costs you money." At CodeNameInsight, the author was inspired by this idea and created a list of ways we have become reliant on others:
  • Cooking - we eat out or buy ready to eat meals at the grocery
  • Growing food - we buy it
  • Catching/Killing food - we buy it and it comes pre-cut and cleaned.
  • Coffee - Starbucks does this for you
  • Washing clothes - what would you do with a washer/dryer or laundromat?
  • Child raising - nannies, day-care
  • Car repair - mechanics
  • Plumbing - plumbers
  • Electrical - electricians
  • First Aid - emergency rooms
  • Make clothes - we buy them
  • ... and so on

Bottom Line

The more you can learn and do on your own the cheaper you can live. You'll have greater self confidence and survivability during emergencies.

See also:

Lost Skills
Wildfire Policies
Living off the Land
Learning to Fish
Practical Survival Skills
The Value of Cooking
The Survivalist series


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