Defining Self-Sufficiency:

Most Americans would agree they value freedom and independence as top priorities. Our country was founded on fleeing tyranny to gain independence, or self-sufficiency. But, it seems as soon as we get away from one form, another begins. Freedom, by all means isn’t perfect. It requires constant effort and evolution. Why? People have different ideas about what freedom means. Greed is also constantly battling freedom. At its core, independence means the ability to have control over ones’ own life. To do what one wants to do, go where one wants to go, and provide for ones own livelihood. Freedom implies the ability to choose. The catch is, one persons’ freedom cannot intrude open another persons freedom. That blurry line is constantly being pushed from both sides. 

In other words, it’s every Americans’ responsibility to maintain freedom. We must constantly develop our legislature to help everyone access it. When legislature fails, we must create our own backup plans. It takes decades to gain self-sufficiency, which can be taken away in the blink of an eye. The Coronavirus has made this more clear than ever. Systems we all depended on for so long are failing us. Widespread shortages and unemployment are making us all too aware of our false sense of independence. Because, when we are at the whim of everything around us, we’re not actually free, we are dependent. So what can we do to maintain our freedom? I believe the answer is self-sufficiency. Autonomy is the one thing that cannot be taken away.

Self-Sufficiency = Freedom:

When it comes to exercising freedom, sustainability and self-sufficiency are two important topics. Sustainability refers to the reliability of a system over time. The determining question to ask is: Can this practice be maintained indefinitely without causing harm or degradation as a long-term consequence? This is important because the repercussions of unsustainable practices often take freedom away. When greed takes over, someone is going suffer. For example, people who don’t have money can’t escape the effects of pollution. While oil companies are making millions, without a care for sustainability, diseases such as asthma are on the rise. This is often how freedom transfers from one group to another. 

Self-sufficiency, on the other hand, is slightly different. It is the ability of a person or community to provide for itself. This level of autonomy is key because it guarantees a certain level of freedom. The main benefit is decentralizing power and authority away from one concentrated area. That way, power and resources can be distributed evenly. So you see, both sustainability and self-sufficiency are crucial to the protection of freedom. Next, let’s take a look at some real life applicatons.

Cultivating Security:

Providing for oneself primarily requires security in the areas of energy, food, and economy. These are all basic human needs. As far as energy and shelter goes, there are steps you can take to cultivate self-sufficiency. Renewable energy and micro-grid systems can provide sufficient energy for homes or entire communities. Invest in systems that can produce, store, and distribute energy on-site. When power goes out, these energy ‘islands’ stay on. On a smaller scale, my advice would be to avoid renting. This may not be possible for everyone, but stay at home and save money for as long as you can. Wait till you can purchase your own property. Renting is like flushing money down the toilet because there is no investment. When you must rent, having roommates can at least minimize the costs. Your ultimate goal should be owning property that cannot be revoked.

Self-sufficiency also involves basic food security. The solution to this problem is starting a garden. If you are inventive enough, it’s possible to start a garden with little money down. Re-use old containers for planter boxes. You can grow many plants using seeds or regenerative plants around the house. Start your own compost bin to make your own nutrient rich soil. Sustainability is another ally. Nature can provide everything you need. In some states, it may be legal to collect rainwater. Say goodbye to depending on companies to provide something that falls from the clouds! If possible, get your whole community involved. Community gardens can be started using HOA budgets. Then, your community will be investing in itself.

Hang on to Your Freedom:

Lastly, job security is vital to freedom. When people lose their jobs they become completely dependent on the government. That assistance is often not sufficient, and can be withdrawn at any time. The best thing you can do here is become an entrepreneur. You can’t be fired from a job you created. This can be a tough one, so if you’re working for someone else, get some side hustles going. Having multiple streams of income provides you with more security because you never know what could happen. At least, try to create something for yourself to fall back on. This could be writing a book, offering a service through social media, or selling a product you created. 

Overall, holding onto your freedom might mean prioritizing long-term security over short-term comfort. Yes, we are at the will of external circumstances many times. We are the only ones that can change the paradigm, and take our power back. Decisions we make every day can either strengthen that freedom, or give it away. The future of our freedom is in our hands. At BarrierEnergy we believe in practicing sustainability as a way to secure the future for everyone. We also wish to support self-sufficiency by spreading awareness. Please check out our homepage to learn more about us. 

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