Could we ever see a world where every family was self sustaining on their own little farm? Where every mouth was fed with food they worked themselves to grow? Or every body was clothed with fibers from plants or animals raised on their own homestead? Would our earth support it? Could we have developed the technology that we have today if everyone was busy providing for ones own? What about medicine? These questions give me a better perspective about what self sufficiency means in a real world.
A world full of individuals that only take care of their own needs won't progress to reach its full potential. Society needs some level of interaction, trade, service, sharing, and so forth. Individuals that have some level of specialization who work in their level of expertise can improve the lives of everyone if they share what they create and know. Living in a world of specialized trade and a life of increased leisure and convenience we have seen major problems and know that it isn’t perfect either. With the transcendence of technology and comfort we have lost our connection with the earth and its common secrets.
As people continue to look again to the earth for their support I feel that we learn what effort goes into sustaining the life we lead. This understanding helps round out society. We find true joy as we help things grow. Food tastes all the more satisfying when it was nurtured by our own hard work. We find that looking to the land for our support gives us a sense of belonging and we discover anew the secrets of life that society has struggled to forget in the name of luxury and comfort. The satisfaction that one receives from providing all their basic needs through their own hard work and the mercy of mother nature, can only be described by the language of experience.
With all that said, the point I’d like to make is this. True self sufficiency comes with a level of co-dependency. We can strive to provide all that we need for ourselves, and we can succeed. In the end we still need each other. We will still need our neighbors to help us raise that barn, to share our meal with, to compare our methods with, to invent and create with, and to argue, laugh, and cry with. Will a community, a nation, a world ever be filled with people who are self sufficient? Only if we all work together to achieve it.