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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 and 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 one’s own livelihood. Freedom implies the ability to choose. The catch is, one persons’ freedom cannot intrude open another person’s 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 the 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 to suffer. For example, people who don’t have money can’t escape the effects of pollution. While oil companies are making millions, without 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 meet its own basic needs. Basic human needs are usually defined as food, water, shelter, and energy. All of these things are required for humans to survive. Furthermore, the basic needs of a larger population or society could extend to include transportation, construction, workers, hospitals, schools, and so on. These are the components necessary for a society to run itself. What would it look like if people and communities were self-sufficient?

For starters, that level of autonomy would guarantee 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. Fewer people would experience distress from emergency situations. So you see, both sustainability and self-sufficiency are crucial to the protection of freedom. 

Change Your Perspective:

Resources are not limited in the way we believe they are, within our current paradigm. Re-thinking the efficiency of the way we do things and can uncover untapped resources for everyone. We are so busy working for minimum wage making a large corporation rich because we are not providing for ourselves. If we could meet our needs affordably, we would have the ability to create our own jobs and design our own lifestyles. In turn, that would help to equalize the distribution of wealth. Economies are the healthiest when small and medium businesses prosper. That’s mostly due to big businesses outsourcing production and jobs.

That’s mostly due to big businesses outsourcing production and jobs. In America, we have all the space and natural resources we could possibly need. What changes could we benefit from the most? The main categories of sufficiency are energy security, job security, and food security. All the elements of society require those two things. Next, let’s take a look at some real-life applications.

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 go, there are steps you can take to cultivate self-sufficiency. Renewable energy and microgrid systems can provide sufficient energy for homes or entire communities. Invest in systems that can produce, store, and distribute energy on-site. When the power goes out, these energy ‘islands’ stay on. Typically, loans are broken down into monthly payments that are no greater than the money saved on electric bills. It’s generally affordable and will prevent money lost during blackouts. In the least, public service buildings should be equipped with off-grid energy backups.

Of course, this might be out of your control if you are renting your space. My advice would be to avoid renting. This may not be possible for everyone, but renting is like flushing money down the toilet because there is no investment. Your ultimate goal should be owning property that you can control and invest in.

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.

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 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, or selling a product you created. 

Hang on to Your Freedom:

Once we have self-sufficiency, assets will begin to accrue. As we save more time and resources, we can experience true freedom. Freedom means independence instead of looking to someone else to provide for your needs. Then, we can take back our own lives and supply our own demands. If disaster strikes, we will be prepared to handle it and survive through it. Let’s take the steps that we can.

For instance, many are already implementing the systems discussed here. States are investing in microgrid technology. Communities are growing gardens to make their own food. More people are looking to launch businesses from home. The whole picture is coming together. If the earth can produce everything it needs to sustain itself, so can we. We can take these lessons from nature by learning to reduce, reuse, and recycle. There is an infinite supply of renewable energy that we have yet to fully take advantage of.

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 or subscribe to our blog to learn more about us.

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