Self Reliant

Rely On Yourself First, Because Being Self Reliant Will Make A Better ‘You’

Self Reliant

There are those who rely on others first, before they rely on themselves. There may be a number of reasons for that.

– Physically unable
– Lacking in ‘know how’
– Don’t have the resources or tools
– Lazy
– “I’m owed”

I can tell you from personal experience that FIRST relying upon yourself will make you a better YOU.

What do I mean by that?

 

Self Reliance

There is a strong sense of satisfaction, especially when a goal is accomplished by your own efforts. Even if you needed the help of others, there’s a difference between doing your part versus letting someone else do it (from laziness or taking advantage).

Each accomplishment whereby you’ve relied on yourself to the extent that you can, makes you better, stronger, smarter. More self reliant.

When you “do it yourself” there are lots of things that you learn in the process. These learned ‘things’, ‘tricks of the trade’, trial-and-error, skills, THEY ALL ADD UP to make a better you.

After awhile, you become more “rounded”. No, not fat rounded. Rather you build up a varied knowledge base, skill sets, adaptability, confidence, self reliance, independence.

Some people like a challenge. Others don’t. Actually, most will instinctively shy away from new challenges (it’s human nature). However you will discover the more challenges you take on in life, the less ‘scary’ they become. You will build confidence over time.

 

Self Reliant & Preppers ‘Go Together’

While not exclusive to the prepper, I would confidently say that most preppers or preparedness minded people have more of a self reliant attitude than the majority cross section of the population.

Preppers are more aware that external systems may fail. That there are risks associated with dependence. After all, that’s why most prep, right?

A prepper will take it upon them-self to do what they need to do for mitigation.

Maybe it’s acquiring specific resources. Or building something. Perhaps learning “how to” do this or that… It all starts with the characteristic of self reliance.

 

Can Money Buy Self Reliance?

Throughout my life I have known many different people. Many varying attitudes. And lots of income diversity. Some ridiculously wealthy, others in-between, and still others who most would consider on the “poor” side of the wealth scale.

But I can tell you this: I have met (and know) more so called “poor” people who are amazingly self reliant (out of necessity) who I would rather have ‘my six’ compared with the “rich” people I’ve known. But I digress.

I didn’t intend to bring money into the picture, but it looks like I just did. Of course money helps! It can buy lots of resources especially useful to a self reliant prepper! However money CANNOT buy real true self reliance. That trait comes from inside YOU.

One cannot rely on money alone.  Well, more clearly stated, yes one can in today’s modern world – however if that were stripped away, “money” would take on a whole new meaning.

 
SUMMARY
In my estimation, striving to be more self reliant makes for a better “you”. The characteristic is inherent throughout much of our history. Today’s modern world however makes it way too easy to rely on anyone but yourself. In fact some entities nefariously actually encourage it (dependence) (it spells “votes”).

If you really want to be better prepared for whatever may come your way, embrace the challenges of self reliance. It will make for a better you.

 
More: Self Reliance & Self Sufficiency – What’s The Difference?

More: 8 Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

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66 Comments

  1. This is a story about a different type of self reliance, but self reliance can be about more than just prepping. It can be about figuring out how to do something by yourself that you never learned from another person, and it can be about doing whatever is necessary to help others when you see they are being abused.

    You can do more than you think. When my mother died (murdered by the tobacco industry and the corrupt hospital that cared more about her Medicare money than her well being) I had no idea how to sue them and no money for an attorney.

    Even before she died, I wanted to stop that Hospital from hurting anyone else. I contacted the Colorado Public Health department and was advised to keep a diary. My diary went to several hundred pages and you would not believe all the things I saw and wrote about. I also complained to the Feds about the Medicare fraud I had seen. Colorado never did anything at all, but I kept getting letters from Medicare saying that they were investigating and would let me know in 2 months what they found. Every two months, I got the same letter.

    Meantime my mother died. I decided to publish my diary in book form. I had no idea how to write or publish a book, but I did a bunch of research, edited my book, hired a printer and a cover designer, and obtained an ISBN number (actually 10 numbers since they sold them in batches of 10.) My book was published in December 1994 and my brothers and I went from hospital to hospital all around the country leaving copies of it in hospital waiting rooms.

    Well, final the Federal government acted. They filed felony charges against Vencor, Inc. (a NYSE listed company), charging them with several felonies including Medicare fraud, Medicaid fraud, Tricare fraud, patient abuse, and patient dumping. They were fined millions of dollars and their stock went from listed on the New York exchange to unlisted (a penny stock.) Eventually they went out of business entirely.

    I have accomplished other things all by myself, but that is what I am proud of. I realize this is not a prepping story, but it shows that if you are motivated you can do anything.

    1. DaisyK
      Congrats on exposing the corruption and mis-treatment you witnessed.
      A lot of what you describe still go on today, patient dumping, poor patient care, inequality of care, based on wealth, …
      Health care is a complicated balancing act with opposing pressures that sometimes seem unjust. With healthcare taking about half of the federal budged (I think), there are limits to what can be provided. At what point do we stop some of the heroic treatments for terminal patients? It was published that around 90% of healthcare moneys are spent in a person’s last year of life. At what age do we no longer do knee and hip replacements 80?, 90? 100?
      And how responsible is society for self inflicted medical problems? I became a smoker in my teen years like so many, but it was my own fault that I corrected twenty years later.
      As for your exposing the corruption in that corporation, I hope the executives got what they deserve, but I doubt it. They probably left with great golden parachutes and the people that bore the brunt of the financial collapse were the share holders. Even today, due diligence is very difficult as a share holder of a big corporation.
      But the important take away from your posting, is that a determined individual can make a difference – a better society and a better you.

      1. Hermit, you are exactly right. The company lost all its shareholders’ money, but the officers and directors got big bonuses just before the company declared bankruptcy.

        The CEO, W. Bruce Lunsford, later ran for the Senate against Mitch McConnell. He lost, but started another company.

        As with many things, money was the object. They skimped on care, charged the insurance companies with care the patients did not receive, and then then when the patients’ ran out of insured days, they dumped them. On one occasion I know about, they left a patient on a street corner with a relative while the patient could not breath on his own. They left the poor relative with a hand bag to bag the patient for as long as his strength held out. Hand bagging is very tiring, I can tell you. I think an ambulance was called, but the patient died.

  2. It’s easy to be excuse-ridden where you can’t do anything because: “I’m too old, fat, poor, sick”; this that and the other thing.
    You don’t have to be on welfare to be a sluggard, it is a state of mind that must always be confronted.

  3. I kid a lot about being old and feeble but because we don’t have a lot of money to spend on help, we usually are able to find a way to do things that need to be done. Our handtruck is in use constantly and old man does a lot of heavy moving with rollers under things like railroad ties. He is still cutting and hauling wood at 80 and i am helping (I am much younger of course- child bride). I do believe that is what is keeping up moving.

          1. NRP: your sense of humor is a survival skill.

            old Lady: “What walker?” I meant his Johnny Walker.

          2. Old Chevy;
            I guarantee you if ya don’t have a sense of humor these days you WILL loss the mind totally.

  4. Practicing true Self Reliance Since 18 years of age.
    Yard needs to be mowed and cleaned out I get my butt out there and mow it. I don’t hire a crew of amigos.
    Got a run down crappy old 100 year old house. Tear everything out and restore it with modern amenities.
    Start up a business with no help or funding.
    Every time something needs fixed look up the instructions and fix it.
    Most of the time if I have never done it before they are half a$$’d fixes and my wife just rolls her eyes at me when it falls apart again. never said I was perfect. Usually after the second and third attempts the fix works. :)

    1. Well said. I wonder where Honey’s Mom is and if she ever got her plumbing fixed. i was pretty sure a number of us could have talked her through it.

      Always remember, “When you quit learning you start dying”.

      1. – Before my DFIL passed, he had some plumbing problems at his house. The plumber, who was in the process of transforming into the local pump guy, had to borrow some of my tools to fix the problem. (And yes, he had about three of his trucks and helpers along) he told me the only reason he even took the job was because he had been working on that house since it was built (and he was a still a friend of the family).
        Does that mean I have too many plumbing tools? LOL
        – Papa S.

  5. Nice photo of Wilson….

    Money, since you brought it up in the ‘Self Reliance’ article; Money is the anti-Self-Reliant element of the universe IMHO.

    Allow me to elaborate a little, let’s take a few thoughts

    1. Welfare and hundreds of other Give-Me-Dats, while not everyone on welfare is lazy, we would agree that welfare/freebies breeds laziness and more ways to leach off others. Anytime one is ‘given’ a free ride they have ZERO incentive to go-on-their-own and are NOT self-reliant.

    2. Government, approx. 1/3 of the country workforce is working for the .gov. Please remember the .gov produces nothing, they manipulate and control the ‘system’, they control the people in millions of ways (millions of laws), they are great at self-growing and justifying their existence.
    Now before anyone goes off their nut saying “I work for the .gov and I do stuff, please remember 99% of what .gov does can and should be done by private untidies AND SHOULD BE, it has also been proven many times over that private industry can and does outperform the .gov, every time.
    One other thing on .gov while I’m here, .gov workers’ pay zero Tax, mainly because they are paid by tax, and are simple returning that tax to the system, again not producing $$$$, simply absorbing it.

    3. Uber Rich; they are probably the most non-self-reliant of the group. They simply hire someone else to do their work for them. They move around in life buying/hiring this or that, they, 99% of the time, have zero idea on how to rely upon their own skill set to preform needed task if TSHTF.
    If we were talking ‘Self-Sufficient’ that’s another story for the Uber-Rich. Most will simply go buy and Island and stock it with a $millions of supplies and g about their lives as nada happened, BTW, many have done this exact thing.

    4. One last group, the “Middle Class” yes the group of people that have been receiving the ‘Middle-Finger’ from all of the other groups above.

    These groups of people are trying to punch out a living, trying to survive in the land of Taxes, Leaches, and Price gouging. They are the ones that have the knowledge to perform task and do the ‘Manual-Work’ need to survive with or without TSHTF.
    Simply outlasting all of the regulations, pan-handlers, leaches, and uber-rich demanding they contribute more to them via working harder and longer to support all of the above.

    Rant over on the $$$$ aspect, sorry all.

    Ok, deep breath, I agree with Ken, being more ‘Self-Reliant’ is not only greatly satisfying, but a fantastic Lifestyle (my favorite word).

    Above I listed a few of many groups that sponge off you and me, but think on how satisfying it is to simple do for yourself, to make your own way in life, and yes to live knowing that “I did that”.

    For example; Gardening, now I know for a fact I can purchase a pound of potatoes cheaper than I can grow them (leaving out the quality aspect) BUT ya want to know something, growing that pitiful potato with my own hand in the soil is worth a hell of a lot more than just the value of that potato. Same with Sewing, cutting firewood for heat, the list is endless.

    So what is your time worth? What is that satisfaction of ‘Self-Reliance’ worth? Not only in $$$$ but in the personal knowledge you have in your soul knowing “Yes I can and yes I do that”.

    1. I thought your favorite word was “TP”? :)

      I was helping a friend the other day (she’s in a wheelchair, probably something mitochondrial but the doctors haven’t been able to diagnose so she’s in pretty bad shape). Another friend was there with me and I made some comment about dehydrating squash in the car. She looks at me like I’ve grown another head and says “You say that like it’s nothing.”

      Umm…Because it is? Because of my odd interests I was able to provide food my friend could actually eat, guaranteed free of chemicals and fillers she might not be able to digest, and she lit up like a Christmas tree when I told her what I’d brought. THAT is satisfaction. I can give her greenhouse tomatoes that have no waxes or dyes, not chemically ripened, and squash that’s never seen the inside of a warehouse (i.e., gas chamber) and hasn’t been treated to keep it fresh. You can’t buy that feeling, no matter how much money you have.

      1. Lauren;
        You have that so right….
        I see millions and I do mean millions of people “working out” or “Eating right” as they sit eating that ‘3000 mile salad’ from some God forbidden Country that infested with E-Coli. Did we not just have ANOTHER Lettuce recall along with another 12 million pounds of Beef?
        Talk about being “Self Reliant” how about just growing and preserving 50% of your food for a start.

      2. Lauren;
        PS;
        TP is not just a word, it’s a 100% necessity…
        Just let a household of 3-5 lady’s run out of TP, NOT GOOD!!!! HAHAHA
        Is 600 rolls really enough?

        1. Only one lady here, but that’s enough. No, 600 rolls is not enough. Dad actually thinks 25 cases of 30 is sufficient! I can’t break him of the low-TP stockpile habit!

        2. Have you ever considered making your own toilet paper? That would be a good example of self reliance.

      3. Lauren,
        Me thinks that sooner rather than later how many dollars a person has wont matter,
        Food, will be a rare commodity, this from the guy who lives on an island of 140,000 that produces LESS than 11% of all food consumed on said island,

    2. Excellent post NRP.
      This whole article comes at of course the perfect time for me,
      I have been trying to get a job,
      Simple enough, but heres the catch, i have worked for myself more in my 55 years than for others, THAT is a huge impediment to entering the realm of the working stiff,
      I have made my own way most of the time, making due with lean times enjoying the plentiful, and all along being responsible for finding jobs, or having jobs find me, or growing, making, building, creating,
      And then theres the issue of Who is John Galt!
      Ive had a lot of thought going into this, i can do a ton of different things, i could be a huge asset to some contractor who picks me up,
      But for what?
      To be exploited and paid just barely enough to cover the bills?
      To end up puting in 50-60 hour weeks?
      To have to unvoluntarily relinquish 30% or more of every dime i make to the looters so they can live lavish lifestyles and reward people who dont deserve to be here with a free ride?
      So for what? Why should i even go there?
      Sure, it would be nice to just show up and the depost goes in every friday,
      But what satisfaction will there be? Doing the job well? Thats never been enough in the past so why would it be now?
      Because its what we are supposed to do as productive members of society? Horseshiff,,,,
      So why?
      At first it sounded like a good idea, but then i started thinking, see theres where things went off the rails from the accepted norms or rather expected norms. I started thinking, and to some degree fretting, and then, yesterday while spraying clearcoat on the ceiling of my deck, it came clear,
      Screw it!
      Yep, thats it, thats all, the moment of clarity was simply
      Screw it!
      Profound huh,
      But seriously, here i was with the decades of guilt preached to me that i needed to work for someone so i could be a productive member of society, almost like religious guilt, same smell,
      When all along, i have just figured it out for myself, yea its been rough, and i havent got a retirement or big house or wads of cash, but im generally quite satisfied.
      Self reliant.
      That says it all in a nutshell, be self reliant.
      Yes i will still rely on others to buy my stuff, or have me do their projects, but i can do it on my own terms toa huge degree,
      So why should i walk back into the ranks of the wage zombies? Never really satisfied with what im doing, paying and paying while barely getting ahead myself, and to top it all off, i get to be judged by past employers again for my failings according to them, judged by future employers because of what a past employer told them, judged by pretty much everybody in the chain in one way or another from here to kingdom come and then, when friday comes, i get to suffer the indignity of witholding tax fica medi ss,,,,,,,,,,, , talk about adding insult to injury. Then after that i can go home and make a pot of sale priced coffee so i can read the news that they want my guns, 65% of immigrants are on welfare and get free medical, and oh by the way, were going to impeach the non politician POTUS because our wInnEr lost!
      Boy, sounds like fun,,,
      The biggest byproduct of the decades of me making my own way in the work realm has been that my tolerance level for BS has gotten very VERY low.
      To my detriment? Perhaps, but thats for me to say.
      Interesting timing Mr J, very interesting indeed.

      1. Tommyboy
        What if you started a little craft session every Saturday. Invite local kids to come and complete some small item you set up and pre-cut. Examples are; a small stitch around coin purse, a bird house, a name plaque. a square nail. a small jar of water bath what ever, … Not much cost but I bet you would get an outpouring of support after a while and offers to do more at Scouts, Home Depots, Senior Centers, … You have much to offer, so offer it.
        Teach self reliance and become a better you.
        That fourteen year old street punk will someday come and thank you.

      2. Tommyboy;
        I’ve got yourself a true de-lemon for sure.
        Your gut tells ya one thing, the Brain is saying another…..

        PS; 140,000 people with 11% of food production…. NOT GOOD!

      3. OK Mr T….No more beating around the bush..next time you need to tell us how you really feel… :-)

    3. NRP,
      That sums it up nicely. Quite accurate for sure.
      I can attest to the uber rich leaving and setting up somewhere else to ride out the “storm”.
      None of my old clients have come back permanently .
      And your right. They will still live better and not feel any of the pain the rest of us will go through when the bottom falls out.
      They throw millions around like its nothing.
      For 2 years I have prepared my kids and grandchildren for the hard times ahead.
      Now it’s up to them to make it through and prosper.
      Btw,you should win a golden TP Award for this…

      1. Bill Jenkins Horse;
        “For 2 years I have prepared my kids and grandchildren for the hard times ahead.
        Now it’s up to them to make it through and prosper.”

        I, like you I’m sure, hope like the dickens they or ‘we’ never find out if we are truly prepared….. Unfortunately History repeats itself when people forget or refuse to remember the past…..

    4. Hey NRP
      Can TP be made using all the waste cardboard and paper that we generate? Much of it already has the fiber broken down by chemicals, so shredding, a little bleach, and laid out in a thin mat to dry? It may not turn out perfect, butt in your hot dry climate, it may work.

      1. hermit us;
        Actually someone posted a very nice vid on how TP is made, will try to find it.
        Scrap Cardboard and paper is probably 90% od TP production…..
        Homemade TP….. hummmm, I’m thinking old Sears Catalogs and printer paper. LOL
        PS; No on the bleach……. OUCH!!!!!

        1. NRP, back in the olden days I worked for the VA as an LPN. We produced service at a lower rate than our civilian counterparts. Service as a product is hard to define. As you said, 1/3 of the working class work labor for the government and that is the definition of socialism. When all of the people work for the gov you get a socialist country. But heck we all know that. I consider myself libertarian but there has to be reasonable limits.

          Is it bad? I heard somewhere that if you don’t like socialism you should try building your own roads. The upside on that is privatization. How do you feel about toll roads? I guess I’m somewhat of a socialist as I’ve been paid by hospitals that received part of their income from government funds both state and federal. I remember one young family. We were transferring their child by ambulance to a higher level of care to a hospital 90 miles way. One of the my coworkers overheard them talking about maybe their neighbor had gas and could drive them. These people were just plain old working poor and not able to afford the gas for a 180 mile round trip. My friend palmed a $20 and bent down, reached under the wife’s chair and said “This must have fallen out of your pocket”. I wonder how much those toll roads, bridges, etc will put into corporate pockets. On the upside, the builders of luxury yachts will probably see an uptick in business. The uber rich would just get richer.

          Daisy, A while back I worked for the 3rd largest hospital chain in the world. I had the extreme pleasure of watching them on national TV stand before congress and try to explain their markups on items in common use. They got into the business because it was so “lucrative” to quote the new employees handbook. They’re no longer in the hospital business and I don’t now the details of their exit. Now they a re a major player in the health insurance field. Maybe because it too is lucrative? I’ll be giving questions through our local health care board to our community hospital regarding charges. We are hopeful that it will get high level attention.

          There was a new story going around yesterday about the generic drug companies and what amounts to price fixing. One of the people investigating was saying it was a case of greed. Greed seems to drive most of us to at least some degree.

          Lauren, mentioned awhile back on my considering buying a coupe of containers and filling them with rice and beans as I thought thy would be a good investment considering projected future shortages. You replied that selling at a high profit could get me invited to a necktie party. I think that would be a risk all of us who stockpile more than average would face.

          There must be limits. We have some who would take it all. The rest of us would be left to starve. My rant over and NRP started it.

          1. me;
            Interesting semi-rant.

            I would like at address your thoughts on Roads, particular a “Toll Road”. Are the current roads not already “Toll Roads” Built and paid for by the Property Owners Taxes (a toll on property owners), than repaid for year in, year out, each year by ongoing Taxes?
            And yes being in the construction industry for decades I know for a fact that 99% of the roads in my area/state are built by private contractors hired by the .gov and paid for by my tax dollars. So yes I do build roads and are paid for by my Taxes indirectly to private companies.

            Actually the fact you worked/work for the .gov does not make you a Socialist, tis not the individual that makes socialism, it’s the .gov in of itself, and the mindset of those that are elected or TAKE power from the people. Take Venezuela for example, a country that was the “richest” in South America, now take a look after 4 years if pure Socialism.

            Lastly don’t think by any means that Contractors are “Rich” most are just struggling by as many of us are. The “Uber Rich” are the criminal politicians and those that control the populations by keeping them paying absorbent amounts for their services or lack of (Taxes) The Clintons come to mind, as does 99% of Congress. How was it that Obama worked as President of the US for $500K a year, yet is now a multi-multi-millionaire? Yes Trump is classified as a Uber Rich also, but he and his father made their $$$$ by working for it in private industry, NOT TAKING it from the people through political corruption. Or Amazon, why is the company and he rich? Because he offers a service that is wanted, NOT needed, by the people.

            Interestingly enough you sound as though you dislike the Corporations (as seems to be common now days); the companies that hire and employ the 1/3 of the population that ‘is’ producing and paying their Taxes to support the 1/3 that’s spending time with the .gov AND supporting the 1/3 of the Leaches in the country. I often wonder where we would be without the Corporations, than it comes to me, Communism. I might add the ,gov is now well over $21 trillion, that’s $21,000,000,000,000.oo (that’s $178,958 per Tax Payer), in debt for their services to the people, Yeah that seems to be working out well for the next 50 generations.

            But I regress, yes you ‘worked’ for the VA and provided your time as a service, but as I said, you in all reality did not contribute to Taxes, how could you if you were paid with Tax Money in the first place?

            PS; please do NOT take this as a personal attack by any means, just an open discussion.

          2. People in general have accepted the corporate structure because they hope to get rich off of it. Rather like the lottery. In spite of the fact that those who pay into it are primarily poor to lower middle class, and the majority of the money goes to the administrators, it’s lauded as being a fair way to fund XYZ.

            If we refused to pay into the corporations, they wouldn’t exist. If we refused to accept shoddy goods and paid a little more for quality, shoddy wouldn’t exist. We (people in general) have the power to stop this kind of thing, but we won’t because it would hit our bank accounts.

        2. Veteran, We visited Romania last summer. What we saw there reminded me a lot of what you’ve described. Lots of small farms, plentiful and affordable food. Little in the way of irrigation and very dependent on rainfall though.

      2. You don’t need to go to all that work. Just cover a childs wooden toy spinning top with a glued on layer of heavy terry cloth.

        Chuck it up in your cordless drill, and apply liberally to the affected area. Keep a water bucket dosed with bleach handy in the outhouse for cleaning between uses.

        Keep a rinse bucket of water handy to clear the bleach solution off prior to re-use, or you will know the true meaning of the words ” ring of fire. “

        1. OS
          I was also thinking of the recycling aspect of TP making – don’t even want to think about the cycling you mentioned. :)

          1. Just do as the Romans did. Get yourself some nice ocean sponges…and put it on a stick. Just rinse thoroughly….

  6. My grandparents, one set wheat farmers, were largely self-reliant. That’s what it took to survive the Depression in rural Kansas. My parents met working at Boeing in 1950. They settled down in suburbia to raise a family. My mom stayed home, gardened, preserved, sewed, and volunteered. When I was 12 we moved to the PNW onto a couple acres. Dad was still with Boeing. We all pitched in fixing up the house, putting in gardens, orchard, and raising chickens. My folks finally had their little farm. We all did volunteer work.

    Three years later my dad, at 20 years younger than I am now, became crippled. We went on welfare, mom went back to school then back to work. The little hobby farm became our sustenance. Wild blackberries became a much larger part of our diet. Scrounging scrap wood from construction sites kept us warm. A special treat for me was being given a quarter to buy books at the thrift store. My parents were embarrassed by the change in their circumstances but we continued to do volunteer work because “there are others less fortunate than us.” They managed to keep the house.

    Before I graduated high school my parents sat down one day with the oldest three of us, all girls, and said not to go looking for a husband to “take care of us” because what happened to them could happen to us. We were expected to go on in school, and work, and make our own way so that if we found ourselves in similar circumstances our paths would not be so hard as theirs. And to continue to care for those less fortunate. And so we did, and so we do. Now I have retired to my little homestead and am living the lifestyle. Like NRP and all of us, hoping never to see very dark days, but recalling old skills and learning new ones Just In Case . . .

    1. Anony Mee;
      Thank you for sharing that story.
      To be honest it teared me up a bit realizing how closely it mirrored my Family.

      I can still see my Father working all day in construction and another few hours in the Garden to help put food on the table, Mom was always doing something around the house AND had part-time employment and the three of us Boys, well there were chores we learned very quickly were done before dinner.

      I truly do believe that the “newer generations” have never seen ‘Hard Times’ and hope (don’t believe it though) they never see a LOT of what we and our parents went through.

      The Great Depression for example, or the War to end all Wars. I just don’t see the masses surviving if TSHTF in a hard way, Honestly “Lights Out” scare the hell out of me. Even look at what has happen during the past year with natural disasters and Fires.

      Sometimes I think our society has become as soft as that Quilted Northern, we have lost so much of what made the US-of-A great, the ability to “Do for Ourselves” or as Ken said, Self Reliant.

      Great food for thought, Thanks Again

      1. Thank you NRP, hermit us, Tommyboy, and others

        I don’t know. I see the economic and other benefits of large communities and specialization but am not sure they are that good for people. I think the lack of broad skill bases coincided with the great peri-urbanization after the war. I remember once in the 7th grade the teacher asked us what we would be doing that evening after school. Two of us in the class said “chores”. The others looked at us like we were from another planet. That was the first time I perceived that my family might not be the norm. We fed and watered the animals before we ate breakfast and again before dinner because, as we were told, “you can feed yourself but they can’t.” There was always weeding to be done, produce to be picked or preserved, if chickens were killed it was my job to butcher them and get them in the freezer.

        Nearly everyday we participated in production activities directly related to our consumption. Plus sewing, music, 4H, sports. It wasn’t onerous, just the way it was.

        BTW – good on ya DaisyK

    2. Thanks for your history and reviving memories for many of us.
      My parents also had to struggle. Dad logging with an ax while mom was the camp cook, then summers picking fruit and working on farms, dad then labored on construction until he got his carpentry papers, mom started a boarding house with up to 17 men to feed – my job was to clean and do laundry. … all this from 1946 to 1960 or so. No one looked down on anyone that had to slave away at hard jobs and pride was when that paycheck came home. I actually miss those days. Self reliance was a fact of life.
      What amazes me how hard is has been to get a little piece of land and develop it to become more self sufficient and achieve the lifestyle. That urban vacuum gets a hold of you and makes you conform – hard to break away but can be done.

    3. Anony Mee
      Thank you, your story is the same as many of the old school,
      Somewhere along the way people forgot,,,,

    4. Anony Mee, thank you for sharing your beautiful life story….what valuable lessons learned that can be passed on….

    5. Anony Mee,
      What a beautiful story of your life. The attitude of your parents is what has made our country great. Take care of ourselves and make do. It is a great lesson you were taught to be self sufficient and not rely on a husband to support you. I’m from a divorced mom who was a 50s homemaker before the divorce and we were told the same thing to make sure we can support ourselves.

  7. Good evening, Everyone,
    A very interesting topic indeed….besides skills and knowledge there is a definite mental and spiritual element to being self-reliant (with all it’s varying degrees of being self-reliant)…..

    I have a book that I started to read, but this article reminded me, I need to pick it up again….

    It is called Deep Survival Who Lives Who Dies, and Why by L. Gonzales…

    Just from what I read so far it addresses the ability to focus, to take risks or not, the power of memory-even in the brain and emotions- and how that influences our choices in the present….one part I will share from the book when talking about focus is when pilots who land on air craft carriers…who should be so focused on landing their fighter jet in the dark, on a short tarmac,, at such skill to set wheels down and grab a restraint they cannot see that will enable the jet to stop so they can live to see another day- are so focused that if someone asks what is your mother’s name, they should not be able to answer you….the book also address the element of humor and how it balances reason…

    One last thing, was how being exposed to and enduring hardship early in life, especially if you learned from it, can be an asset for future life trials, for I can’t tell you much more cause I need to read it!

    Personally, though I did not learn how to cook or can or grow a garden as young person-I did not have the opportunity, but living through trauma and abuse at home, and in younger adulthood-had and still has profound effects on me mentally and spiritually-it drove me to know and depend the Anchor of my soul at an early age….

    I’ve learned to have hope in darkness, and am able to sense pain and grief in others-sometimes being aware of suffering even before it happens….not that I can control it, but that I am more prepared to face it….so hardships and suffering can serve a purpose to make you a stronger-self, taking time to deal with what inside our hearts and mind, through prayer-mediation, even a trusted friend who truly cares about you, can clear spiritual and mental space-restoring one’s energies, to also be -if I may put a play on words here-more self-resilient….

  8. I am still at work in healthcare about 40 hrs per week. I was thinking about retiring before 60 butt as of late, I see my place within my organization to pass along institutional memory and hints to survive and be able to work in this environment for years.

    My job is not glamorous butt the benefits are good and they are a big part of why I continue working where I work. Part of my present job is to train my replacement(s) before I leave. I have a good candidate right now. He comes from a local farming family and he has lots of children. He needs the benefits and the non-farm income. Odds are, he will be there for a long time. The last lesson I teach to my trainees is to pack a parachute if things go South.

    Self reliance is an attribute that I aspire to and learning of new skills and doing things myself is what I have always done. Self reliance is a compliment best assigned by others. As I get older, I find myself passing on some of the knowledge to those younger and interested in some topics I have been doing for a long while. My relocation to another state during the last Great Recession was my final lesson to my trainees about packing a parachute. You never know what the future may bring.

  9. Funny, the days I enjoy most here are when Ken’s daily subject forces us to be introspective…

  10. In my country things are different than in urban USA. The biggest city is about 250 000 people and is 50 miles from my home. We were communist state for years. Concerning that every community must have a infrastructure for emergency situations. Alternatives source for electricity, water were must have. We have lot of atomic shelters for citizens. When my father made his house he was obligated to pay tax for atomic shelter which is made in our neighborhood. Most of neighborhoods in my town have well with hand pumps. Almost every family has a farm or at least land. Everyone can and know how to plant garden and livestock. I don’t know any of my neighbors or friends who have grandparents born in the town. So we are not so dependent on modern technology. Fuel and medical supplies shortage is something what can be dangerous for us. So honestly we are not so fragile society at all. I can say that we are self sufficient society in big percentage!

    1. Veteran;
      What you describe is exactly what many of us are trying so hard to develop here.
      Honestly is sounds like you and your Lifestyle is far FAR beyond when where the US is.

      1. Good is only one side of the story. From other side you have few jobs. Not enough for all. If you have one job, salary is small. It is not enough money for all necessary for family. We have treat of war all the time. It is very hard to live in that circumstances. All that are reasons why people are going to Germany and generally abroad.

    2. Veteran,
      I have a question for you.
      You have seen the way our country is divided?
      The crazy arguing over stupid things and the hate from the leftist of everything that made America?
      Do you have this sort of division in your country?

    3. Veteran, We visited Romania last summer. What we saw there reminded me a lot of what you’ve described. Lots of small farms, plentiful and affordable food. Little in the way of irrigation and very dependent on rainfall though.

      1. Romania is 250 miles from my home.
        Yes it is the same way of life. But I think we have better standard of life than Romania.

  11. Terra;
    A side note, did we pizz off The Ohio Pepper.???
    If so he’s got a mighty thin skin…..
    Tell him to get his azz back over here, we/I appreciate his input…..
    And tell him 200 rolls of TP is NOT enough 😎

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