16 June 2011

Self-reliance, preparedness, and honor

One of my favorite online bloggers is Kellene Bishop. Among a lot of other things, she runs the excellent PreparednessPro blog, which is a regular read for me. The posts there are very informative, and often, very thought-provoking.

Such a recent post was titled "The Truth and Honor of Preparedness." In it, Kellene discusses how being prepared is the honorable thing to do, since it means taking responsibility for yourself.

She says [her bolding]:

A person who is prepared is honorable. They are willing to carry their own weight to protect themselves and those they love instead of naively or cowardly delegating that responsibility to others.
I wholeheartedly agree with this sentiment, and believe that it is equally true for being self-reliant. Self-reliance is shouldering your own burden, and it is an honorable thing to do.

My one quibble with the above quote is the implication that anyone not being prepared (or self-reliant) is "dishonorable," especially for any "naive" people. While I don't believe Kellene necessarily meant that, it is something worth exploring.

True, it's one thing if you're aware of the need for self-sufficiency, but choose to do nothing. That is dishonorable.

But, how can we fault those who are ignorant of the need to be self-sufficient? After all, our modern American culture allows us — actually encourages us — to live in a very dependent lifestyle.

We are raised in the lap of convenience and comfort. Food, water, electricity, and entertainment are available anytime, day and night. Sure, there are occasional, small interruptions to our comfort, but things are usually back to normal pretty quickly.

Rarely are we faced with a real need to fend for ourselves. There's generally some "safety net" in place, be it family, friends, or even some kind of government assistance. It's not until something really smacks us in the face that we start to think about how we can better deal with a similar situation next time.

So, it's hard for me to see "dishonor" in people who just haven't discovered that need for preparedness or self-reliance.

What's more, is that there are degrees of preparedness and self-reliance. It would be rare for anyone to be totally self-sufficient for any length of time. (Sure, there those who live totally off the grid, but even they typically buy mass-produced goods of some kind.). Plus, we all have different abilities to fend for ourselves, and we all have to start as a novice and learn what it means to be truly independent and free.

In the end, it's all about educating ourselves about self-reliance, helping others do the same, and then ensuring our actions align with that learning. Don't get me wrong... Kellene does exactly that, which is honorable.

No comments:

Post a Comment