Being Self-Sufficient

Being Self-Sufficient

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Part of being “self-sufficient” is having a close network that helps you. Self-sufficient communities exist far better than self-sufficient individuals, as there’s a need for human connection, and of course on the more technical side of things, people tend to specialize and have different strengths and weaknesses. 

In fact, one of the most successful such societies in the United States is probably the Amish. They survive so well because they focus on being a self-sufficient network of like-minded people. In our modern world, it’s often imagined that a huge collective will save you—social security, aid programs, and a move away not just from the nuclear family, but from having extended family nearby, too. 

In reality, this is not an ideal solution. Involvement increases investment, so when one’s only involvement in “helping” others is through money being deducted from one’s pay (passively, without you ever seeing it happen in real time, even), the investment in others is minimal. This leads to a collective of resource-drained, apathetic people, who don’t take human action to better others.

I compare that to one assembly of saints: when a spiritual family member didn’t have a car, they helped source one from the congregation. They ran their own academy for children to receive superb educations for almost no cost at all. When someone was sick, there was always someone to bring food. When I was homeless, they made sure I wasn’t. 

As the tides of life came and went, we’d all variously give to help, or receive when we were down. This is far beyond what a government can ever do for you, because it’s a small, parallel society: a family, but spiritual, which transcends blood, skin color, and class. It’s a society which can have a man who has lived in Africa for 36 years visit the states with his wife and officiate for you and your fiancé. It’s a society where you can go across the world and meet people who are truly family.

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion…And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Eccl 4:9-12

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