Do you know what the wealthiest and the poorest of this country have in common? They are all dependent upon the same food and fuel distribution system.
In my ebook “Paradigm Shift: The Case for Sustainable Living“, I share some pretty personal details of my life. I feel they are important to discuss as I build my case for a more independent lifestyle.
As a young widow at age 26 years old, life had thrown me a curve ball that I couldn’t have anticipated. I was left with a 2 year-old daughter to raise alone, and also found it necessary to make a career change in order to have more flexibility in my new “single mom” schedule.
From my uneducated attempts to heat my house with an inefficient fireplace and “green wood” (along with lighter fluid!) to save money, to wondering how to grow a garden for food, my thoughts were already spinning in the direction of sustainability, I just didn’t realize it. I also had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to “make it” every month.
“Poverty is a great motivator” I often said during that time.
“Necessity is the mother of invention”
is another favorite quote of mine. When the chips are down, I find that we dig into the deepest corners of our creativity for answers. It was during these years that the “itch” for independence began in me, yet it would be years, actually decades before it came to fruition.
Years later, I married the most wonderful man on this planet. Today, we’ve been married over 20 years! I could have never predicted the path life has taken us, that’s for sure.
Today, we can pay the heat bills and grocery bills without too much difficulty. But do you know what? That’s a mute point. There’s a greater issue at hand.
We’re still dependent upon someone else to provide these things.
Having or not having the money to pay for food, heat and water isn’t the problem, as we often think it is. Dependence upon the system is the issue at hand. We’re talking about the difference between being a consumer and a producer.
And here’s my point.…it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you make (or don’t make).
You are just as dependent upon the grocery store for food as the millionaires are.
There is no difference between the rich and poor, (other than perhaps where they shop) unless they are able to grow/create for their own very basic needs.
The poorest farmer is rich when he knows how to grow food and build shelter to sustain himself. The millionaire becomes poor when the grocery store is closed.
Rich or poor, humanity shares the same basic needs: food, water, shelter and clothing.
How many of these things are you able to “produce” for yourself?
If you’re like most people, not many. That’s the norm for this culture. We consume rather than produce. Which brings me to another point:
Who, then, is in control of your life?
You might make great money, but unless someone is willing to sell you what you need, you’re out of luck. Someone else is in control of your comfort and well-being.
These are hard words to hear, especially for Americans. Most choose not to believe that they may one day be faced with nothing to buy. But just ask anyone who lived through The Great Depression….
Nonetheless, understanding that the “middle man” of utilities and fuel distribution are in control of most American’s health and comfort is the truth. Coming to terms with the fact that how much money you make will never completely insure your domestic tranquility.
In this lies my “Case for Sustainable Living”.