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dependence vs home-made

gas can guitarIn my favorite online community, someone was happily discovering that there is much he assumed “had to be” done by experts and factories that actually could be done quite well at home. Responses included those from the “do absolutely everything for yourself” camp. I offered the following sense of balance, starting with a favorite quote of mine from The Moody Blues “On The Threshold Of A Dream”.

There you go, man
Keep as cool as you can
Face piles of trials with smiles
It riles them to believe
That you perceive
The web they weave…
And keep on thinking free

Know that there is precious little of real importance that you cannot do for yourself.
Decide which things you want to do for yourself.
Decide which things you want to hire done while you sell your specialties.

Three examples:

I was making my own ice cream until I did a careful cost analysis. Ingredient-reading and price shopping showed me that Breyers was making the same stuff for a lot less than mine cost.

I buy green, unroasted coffee beans in 25-pound sacks. I roast my own twice a week using a sauce pot, copper colander, camp stove and window-mounted exhaust fan. My fresh coffee costs less than plastic cans of Folgers that Wal*Mart sells.

I might spend 30 hours in and out of my shop with its extensive, expensive array of power tools and mountain of salvaged lumber building a few custom shelves for my reloading supplies. I couldn’t charge enough to recover minimum wage if I did this for somebody else. I enjoy the work, get exactly what I want with a design the evolves as it progresses and can view the results daily for many years to come.

I find it practical to roast coffee. I find it impractical to crank ice cream. Though impractical, I build stuff because I enjoy the process and results.

Not all of us will build “Randy Weaver homesteads”. Some are better prepared for one thing or another. The Super-homesteaders are less likely to be disrupted by political, economic or natural disaster. The adaptable and truly educated will survive the next few years better than 99% of the populace.

Conditioned dependent is a condition to cure yourself of ASAP. Question everything. Don’t, for goodness sakes, try to change everything at once.