Self-Reliance

So use all that is called Fortune. Most men gamble with her, and gain all, and lose all, as her wheel rolls. But do thou leave as unlawful these winnings, and deal with Cause and Effect, the chancellors of God. In the Will work and acquire, and thou hast chained the wheel of Chance, and shalt sit hereafter out of fear from her rotations. A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick, or the return of your absent friend, or some other favorable event, raises your spirits, and you think good days are preparing for you. Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I want to be able to do everything. I don’t know if that is a case of attention deficit. It might be. If there is a deficit in my attention, can I correct it by raising taxes on other brain functions?

But I want to be able to grow my own food, I want to be able to knit myself a sweater, I want to be able to distill my own whiskey and I want to be able to build my own house.

This desire to be self-reliant comes for several sources. The first is family. My father and his father are/were both very do-it-yourselfers. My grandfather more so, but still, I’d see something get broken in the house and my dad would fix it. The majority of his Saturdays are spent on projects around the house: turning a small room into a walk-in closet, painting the entire upstairs, hanging dry wall are just some of his recent projects.

Then there’s my mom. She uses her share of canned veggies and other processed food, but she also makes granola and cinnamon rolls. She makes great rolls from scratch, and her homemade apple pie is my favorite desert, bar none.

So I’ve been steeped in a sense of self-reliance for a while.

And being able to do more things myself just seems like a good idea. I like people, but if I can change my oil, then why pay someone to do it? They might not always be there, I will. I wish more people would follow suit. I’m not saying everyone should start homesteads. But what’s wrong with more people growing their own food, or mending their own jeans? When we are responsible for things like that, we realize how much work goes into modern life. Hopeful, we also realize that the prices at Wal-Mart and other box stores are artificially depressed, only to be passed on to others further down the food chain.

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