In my recent research into self reliance I have begun coming across uses of the phrase “self reliance” in a negative connotation. These are almost always in reference to religion, and usually describing a person’s relationship with God. In this case the self reliant person is trusting in their own strength and abilities and not in God.
This is not to pick on religion or anti-religion. This is simply to clarify something. When I refer to self reliance in this blog it is not in that sense. Self reliance, as far as this site is concerned, simply refers to ones state of preparedness and ability to subsist with minimal charitable assistance from others.
However, I will state here also that I am a religious person. I believe that God wants us to be self reliant in the sense I have discussed and, to quote a common phrase, that “God helps those who help themselves.” We rely on God, and we acknowledge our reliance on him, but we minimize the extent to which we are beholden to other people. Owing too much to others limits our ability to fully explore our relationship with God. Or, to refer to another common quote, “No man can serve two masters.”
Now, having clarified that, I don’t intend to get overly religious on this site. I want to include as many people as I can, and you don’t do that by purposely picking fights. If self reliance is your interest I really don’t care if it’s because of religion, environmental concerns, thrift, doomsday-ism, or because the voice in your freezer that normally says “Zuul” is encouraging you. If you have something to add, please do. If you find something of value here, wonderful!
Nor will I exclude religion. Religion, especially my own, often has a lot to add to the discussion of self reliance. If it’s appropriate to the discussion I won’t shy away from it. I think we can all be respectful of each others’ beliefs and still discuss our own when we have something to add. I think we can learn from one another.
That’s what this site is all about.