i salute the light within your eyes where the whole universe dwells. for when you are at that centre within you and i am at that place within me, we shall be one. - chief crazy horse, oglala sioux, 1877

Saturday, September 18, 2010

community self-reliance is the key...

in the modern western world there's no such thing as independence. people talk about the idea of being independent or self-sustaining, but this is impossible. who actually grows/collects ALL their own food, including their grains? who grows/collects all the materials for creating clothing? heck, who in the modern western world even fixes their own car, boat, bicycle, and computer? because if you're reading this, you're using a computer!

interdependence or community self-reliance is necessary and, as luck would bless us, it builds community. we know we can depend on the people around us: family, friends, or neighbours. sometimes the situations are very specific, for example there is a man on my tiny rural island who i know will be here within the hour if i am trapped by snow and can't get my car out, but i don't know if he'll help with anything else.

community self-reliance means that i can depend on my community and they can rely on me. this can be in times of disaster or simply everyday happenings. so i can grow vegetables but ralph is raising cows and don is raising laying hens. i need to find someone who makes cheese. so i can trade or buy/sell products from my neighbours.

this summer 3 deer got into my garden for two days while we were away. i had turnips left, which is good, but i had no other vegetables until my friends dropped off some and invited me into their gardens. now the beans, peas, cabbages, corn, beets, carrots, and parsnips are unrecoverable, but my mizuna, chard and kale are coming back!!! and i planted some fall/winter crops!!!

i can depend on people, not corporations. will wal-mart come and dig out my driveway or send over beets? NO!!

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