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An Interdependent Community

Updated on December 11, 2009

No Man Is an Island


 

The urge to do things for ourselves has certainly caught on like wildfire.  In fact, I am a big proponent of doing things myself and do enjoy the satisfaction and savings that often result.  In fact, I often wish that there were many other things that I could do for myself, especially in these days of pay freezes, contracting budgets, government cutbacks and widespread economic hardship.  However, while I relish the thought of doing things myself and would like to learn how to do even more, one thing is slowly becoming more real – we are an interdependent society.

Have you heard the words: No man is an island - no man stands alone?  
This is no joke.

Seven years ago when my family moved from New York City to settle in the suburb of Mcdonough, GA, I was instantaneously pushed into a yard life which for me was unprecedented.  Our yard is a little more than 0.5 acres and needs to be maintained – cutting grass, fighting weeds, etc.  I started out by buying a push lawnmower for the “grass” and also set about learning how to combat weeds.  My early efforts yielded very little success and we decided to hire a lawn service – TruGreen ChemLawn.

TruGreen got to work and soon after our lawn gained some appeal – at least one part of the front yard did.  I could not understand why the rest of the yard did not look as good.  My solution – I fired TruGreen ChemLawn and decided to do it myself.  Now, every spring I get out there to feed my lawn with good grass-fertilizing, weed-killing stuff and by summer I am amazed at how unsuccessful I am.

In addition to fighting with my lawn – keeping in the spirit of DIY, I ignore many requests from entrepreneurs to cut my lawn – quite a bit of lawn.  At first I pushed that mower in the front and back yards and convinced myself that I was thrilled with the exercise.  Yeah, right!  We soon invested in a riding mower.  Of course now the job is much easier – DIY.

As for wanting to learn more – I have friends who change the oil in their cars, replace brakes and more, while I just wish I could do such things too.  You know – I would save some money.

Saving money is really great and we should seize every opportunity we get.  Also, doing things yourself provides certain amount of satisfaction and feelings of worth and accomplishment.

But think on this for a second: If you started a lawn-mowing business or a cake-baking business, would you succeed if everyone cut their own grass and baked their own cakes?

Therein lies the rub.  The fact is we can bake a cake (some of you can) cut the grass (some are willing to) and clean our own messy homes.  However, there are people who have started businesses and have chosen life careers to do those things.  This is what they love – what they want to do.  And most importantly, they depend on there being lawns and messy homes – as well as many other areas where we choose to do it ourselves - available so that they can do the job and get paid to take care of their families.  Yes, that’s the clincher.  These people have to live too.  Some have families, others do not, but they all need to live.  When they are living – when they have money to spend – other businesses such as restaurants, service stations, barbers, retail stores, etc. will survive.  Others will then find employment and be able to support their families.

We just cannot exist without each other - no man stands alone.

So, if you can, think about paying someone to cut your lawn, clean your house, paint some rooms or change your brakes.  If you are making it and they are making, our communities will make it.

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