24 August 2011

Quote for today on self-reliance and freedom (plus some related self-reliant philosophy)

Self-Reliance is a prerequisite to the complete freedom to act. – Marion G. Romney
Marion Romney was a member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church. As I've pointed out previously, LDS members are urged to "prepare for adversity." That explains why a lot of good preparedness and self-reliance quotes comes from LDS leadership.

Anyway, this quote has been on my mind recently because it indicates a link between being self-reliant and our individual freedom. I'm a big believer in this concept, as you can see by my "mission statement" at the top of every page:
Fostering a freer, stronger society by providing practical advice and how-to information on developing your self-reliance.
But, what does that really mean? How does self-reliance increase freedom? Good question.

On the most basic level, relying only on yourself means that you don't need anything from others to survive. At the purest state, you'd be entirely providing for your own needs... your own water, food, shelter, sanitation, etc., right up Maslow's hierarchy of needs:
Click image to view larger in a new window.
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons; view its description page there.

Providing for the basic "physiological" needs is at the core of self-reliance and preparedness. If you can address those needs, and if that were all you needed to address, then you'd be absolutely and utterly free, living on just this level. Of course, that's not really possible.

Why? Consider the next level up the pyramid, "safety." At this point, the outside world begins to impact our considerations. Here we must provide for the security of our body, property, family, etc. against natural and man-made events.

As self-reliant people, we do our best to supply that security to the people and things in our lives. We can also consciously choose to limit the other things in our lives, thereby living a simpler (and freer) life. But take note: the things outside ourselves are starting to put boundaries around us, limiting our freedom.

These boundaries continue to solidify and draw in closer around us as we consider "love/belonging" and "esteem." Though necessary, the our freedom in these levels is entirely rooted in the number and nature of our relationships, interactions, and attachments with others. It is here that we can lose a considerable amount of freedom.

At the top of the diagram, we return again to "internal" things, the "self-actualization" we experience. It's my opinion that this is the level that allows us to optimize the other ones. This level is a true key to self-reliance.

At this level, we consider things like morality, lack of prejudice, problem-solving, and creativity. In other words, it's at this level that we start to really consider the quality of our relationships, the simplicity of our lifestyle, how much is "enough," what's important to us, what values will we live by, and so on.

It's here that we consider all these things, then decide on our course in life. We decide (consciously or not) on where we'll fall on being dependent on others or being self-reliant. As we do so, we are deciding where our life's boundaries lie.

Said another way, the level of self-reliance for each area of our life we choose determines the corresponding amount of freedom we experience.

No comments:

Post a Comment