An interesting thread at the Backyard Aquaponics forum is entitled, “Why is it so difficult to break free?” You can read the full thread here. Written by a chap in the Deep South of the US, it makes quite depressing, but also thought-provoking, reading. It starts as follows (as submitted);
“I’ve been working for 8 years now and have the exact same belongings i had when i started out. I haven’t wasted very much money on crap that just burns out because i wish to have a small bit of land with a sustainable house and be free of this age of industrial slavery! I haven’t made it an inch towards my goal! does it seem screwed up to anyone else that it can take 20 years just get off grid and live off the land?! I’m not even talking about something crazy here! just a bit of land with a ferocement house with a few solar panels and an ap farm will set me back atleast 30grand! and that’s if i do all the work myself?! Why does it take 20 years of hard work to live in a cement house with some lights and a fish pond?!?! To top it all off things are about to go to shit! I’m running out of time to get out of this blasted tidal wave of doom i see coming that my slave masters are brining upon themselves!”
Why do we do the things we do? More importantly, why do we continue to do the things we do even when they depress us? His dreams are not extravagant. All he wants is a little plot of land and the freedom to be self-sustaining. The thread explores what exactly self-sustaining costs in dollar terms and in loss of benefits, like health insurance and retirement savings.
His conclusion is that he’d have to move to another country to make this dream come true. Why, I ask? Why does the grass always seem greener on the other side of the fence? Why can’t we make a complete change right where we are?
The various reasons for his current position are explored, including a lack of a formal college education and employment in a minimum wage job. Many, many people are talking about moving “off of the grid” and especially in South Africa right now with our problems with Eskom, and I believe that these debates will grow.
Not all of us a suited to self-employment or self-sustainability and that is possibly the problem here. Very few people are natural “risk-takers” and entrepreneurs. The majority of people, despite complaints and grumbling, are much more suited to a stable, structured life without the uncertainty of what self-sustainability entails.
Food for thought?