It’s been a hot, muggy Independence holiday in my corner of the US.
As a result, I’ve spent more of it inside, hiding from the heat, than I’d like. That’s OK though. It gave me a chance to think deeply about what independence means.
Independence is an interesting word.
In a political context, it’s used to describe self-governance. In a personal context, it’s usually used to describe someone who is self-sufficient.
These two concepts are also entwined.
For example, Thomas Jefferson pointed out that democracies are much less likely to devolve into tyrannies when most of its citizens are independent. He believed that citizens who were able to support themselves would be less likely to be corrupted by dependencies or stampeded by a fear of disruptive events. He was right then, and he’s right now. Independence is a good trait to aspire to.
The problem is that the modern world we live in is based on extreme dependence. Dependence on systems and organizations that are large, remote, and (increasingly) dysfunctional.
The way things are organized right now, we need an entire global system just to get through the day. That dependence makes us needlessly fragile. If anything goes wrong, from an extreme weather event to a financial panic to political dysfunction, we shatter.
So, how do we eliminate this fragility and become truly independent citizens? I believe, and it’s the same reason I started this site and service, is to become resilient.
Some would argue that disconnecting, going off-grid, or taking a survivalist approach to life is a way to achieve independence. However, as anyone that has really done it would attest: it is a much harder approach than resilience, and offers much less reward for the effort.
I believe that resilience offers a better approach. It adds to your current life, home, and community. It’s not about buying or learning things that will only be used in a zombie apocalypse.
Furthermore, adding resilience increases your ability to achieve success right now.
- providing you with new ways to solve problems and achieve success.
- teaching you how to build a resilient home that actually supports you and your family rather than draining your resources.
- providing you with insight on forming resilient community that increasingly generates jobs, community spirit, and critical services over the long term.
Resilience like this provides you with true independence, where you and your family can enjoy all of the benefits of the modern world without being its unwilling victim.
Also, it makes you the kind of citizen the world needs more of.
Hope this serves as food for thought.
Have a great weekend.