Now, besides those who decide to live completely off the grid, we are so interconnected that self-sufficiency is non-existent. We buy food that others produced. We live in houses that others built. We drive on roads owned by all, in cars made elsewhere, to get to and from activities that are shared with co-workers or fellow sportsmen or family.
I considered myself self to be self sufficient for a brief period, before the stock market crash of 2001. It was purely based on having more money than I needed. I could have or do or be just about anything I wanted. But that's not self sufficiency. I still relied on the work of others, and I still participated in a community. After I lost the money, I just had to work for pay more than before -- pretty much the only difference.
Now that I'm disabled, I see self sufficiency in a whole new light. I couldn't fix the washing machine by myself. I knew exactly what needed to be done, and I could do the littler parts, but I can't lift the motor, let alone the cabinet, by myself. I had to ask other family members to go buy the parts. I had to watch a YouTube video to make sure I was doing it correctly. And I had to rely on the physical strength of my husband and son to get the sucker apart and back together. Farewell, Independence. I loved thee well.
I'm not going to get into the whole political conversation about individual wealth vs. shared social responsibility (I will not rant, I will not rant). But it is interesting to look at what we have, whom we rely upon, and how we have to adjust when our circumstances change. The lower class knows well the skills of adaptation, but the affluent among us believe themselves to be insulated and far removed from basic survival choices. May I offer some advice? Be prepared. No one is immune. Be kind to the people you might be depending on, if you want to remain part of the tribe when your money disappears or your health fails or your mind fades. It really is a jungle out there, and we need one another.