What Does it Mean to Be Self Sufficient?
According to Webster's online dictionary, one of the definitions for self-sufficient is "able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid: capable for providing for one's own needs." Can you provide for your own needs? I guess it depends on the area you are talking about. Most people are self sufficient when it comes to their own care. They can feed and clothe themselves. Most people can drive where they need to go and buy the things they need.
But there is a growing movement for people to truly be more self-sufficient. For example, providing food for your family. Many more people are starting gardens. This might partly be to save money, but I think also to become more self reliant. I hate having to rely on outside sources for what we need. Taking the example of food, I don't want to have to rely on whatever food items are available at the grocery store in order to feed my family. I don't want to be dependent on Kraft or General Mills to feed my family. As much as possible I would like to grow my own food and cook from scratch in order to feed my kids.
There is more to it than food though. When the garage door stops working do you go to the phone book or to your tool box? If you were self sufficient enough to fix the garage door yourself you would save a lot of time, money and headache. Say a small part needs to be replaced. If you could replace it yourself you could have your garage door working again in an hour or two (even with a trip to the store). If you couldn't fix it you would have to find a repairman in the phone book, make some phone calls, set a time (usually hours or even days later) for them to come out, possibly take time off work to sit around and wait for the repairman, be there while they spend an hour fixing it, and pay them a lot of money to do all of that. Which sounds better to you?
Being self sufficient requires learning a lot. But learning new things keeps our minds young and healthy. When we can rely on ourselves to sew on a button, iron our own clothing, fix the garbage disposal, cook dinner from scratch, grow strawberries for our snacks and many more things it give you freedom. Freedom to do things the way you want them done. It gives you more control over your own life.
If you want to avoid pesticides on your vegetables, the only way to do that is to grow your own (even organic vegetables are sprayed). If you want to keep more of your money, the only way to do that is to stop paying other people for things that you could do. If you want freedom from being a slave to your job, becoming more self-sufficient will help you do that. These are examples of real life ways you can be self sufficient. What does it mean to you to be self sufficient? Are you making changes to be more self reliant? I would love to hear about it.