25 July 2013

Self-Reliance Presentation at Basic Living

I gave another presentation today at the Basic Living store in town. Last week was First Aid. This week was Self-Reliance.

Here is a link to the video: http://bit.ly/12BIPaH Skip ahead to about 4:20, because that's where it actually starts.
 The link is no longer active. The videos from Basic Living aren't on that site anymore.

     In the introduction, I related running out of gas to self reliance. We take it upon ourselves to make sure our cars have enough fuel to get where we need to go. If we run out of gas, we don't blame the world for letting this happen and we don't call 9-1-1 to get us out of the mess.
     We do rely on others for several things. We trust that when we call 9-1-1, someone will answer. We trust that we will be able to go to a hospital when we need one on roads that we trust to be made and maintained properly. Trust is what drive our reliance on others. It's not so bad. We can't, and shouldn't, do everything alone. Even when it comes to working, we offer goods or services in exchange for money that we use to pay for the goods and services that we need but don't provide for ourselves. It works. The problem, however, is when things go haywire.
     We have a lot of things that we expect to be able to depend. This is an adaptation of an earlier blog post about the same types of things, The Web of Expected Dependability. Some of our basic needs are: Shelter, Communication, Water, Sanitation, Food, Cooking, Heat & Light, and Medical Care. Among these needs, most of our resources are dependent themselves on other things, such as electricity. Our system is quite fragile. It works most of the time, and as long as it does, we don't ask questions, but every so often, we hit a snag and something stops working. It isn't usually for very long, but it's often an inconvenience, and sometimes an emergency. In any sort of disaster, any of the things we rely on can be cut off or stopped. So what do we do to be independent and self-reliant?
     We take a look at everything in our lives. We think, "It's a good thing such-and-such hasn't happened. I'm not sure what I would do about this or that." If there's a reasonable chance that "such-and-such" could actually happen, then you need to figure out what to do about "this or that." For example: If you don't know how you'll keep clean without running water, then maybe you can invest in a camping shower that is heated by the sun. If you don't know what you would do if someone was hurt and you couldn't call 9-1-1, or even if you can call but the person might die before they get there, then take a first aid class and learn about it. There are plenty of resources, even online.
     For each of our needs, there are things that we depend on in our day-to-day lives. That is okay. What we need to do is ask ourselves if we can depend on it in an emergency and what are we going to do if we can't. Then we make a plan. We decide what we want to learn or what we need to have on hand and we develop independence. You don't need to prepare for the zombie apocalypse to be ready for a power outage. With very little effort or cost, you can be self-reliant and you can be someone that your family can rely on. In a similar way that we trust others to make sure things run properly, there are probably those who trust you, and when some hiccup in life happens, you want to come through for them.
     Watch the video for a visual demonstration of our dependencies and some ideas of how to become more self-reliant. I hope you enjoy and please leave any comments or questions you have below. I will do my best to give you a good answer. We'll cover some of those basic needs topics in the future so that we can go more in-depth about what we can do to be prepared for each of them.

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