I walk to work for exercise, to save money and reduce my reliance on convenience. But every day cannot be pleasant dry and warm. In fact, most days during April can be quite stormy in my region of the country. On these days I still walk to work rather than drive. This is more than a personal choice for me and much more than a cost saving strategy.
I celebrated my 18th birthday in the driving rain and soaked to the skin while negotiating an obstacle course. This made me appreciative of my provided wet gear any other time I was required to get to my destination. Nothing more than a drab green parka with a hood, my wet gear kept me warm and dry. I thought very little of the rain anywhere I went and when I took off my wet gear I remained a pressed and well groomed soldier underneath. Upon inspection, one would never know I had traversed a storm on foot.
It wasn’t until I returned home that I began to lose my appreciation of being self reliant. I drove everywhere, dreaded the rain and avoided venturing outside if was cold, wet or even unseasonably hot. What we don’t often realize is that we pay for convenience. Increasing gas prices to power our vehicles and electricity bills to run the air conditioner adds up.
Even buying our food in grocery stores could be considered a convenience. Today, I have tomatoes growing outside my kitchen window, chickens hatching eggs in my back yard under trees baring fruit and even rows of strawberries growing in a bed outside my doorway.
There is a sense of pride and purpose that comes from self reliance that we tend to lose in our everyday modern lives. Whether it be from working with the earth to grow your own foods or repairing your own vehicle, one gains purpose from having those skills. During difficult times, a return to self reliance can not only improve your quality of life, but save your pocketbook.