There are lots of things that we should learn from the experiences of the past 15 months; the question is whether we will actually learn anything. Then the follow-up question is whether we will gain any wisdom with our learning.
Learning is one thing and is generally quite difficult. Learning for adults usually means we have to unlearn something before we can learn anything new. In the case of self-reliance the unlearning part is really internalizing the reality that our past experience with the systems that support our lifestyle may not be as reliable as we prefer to believe. That is a very uncomfortable truth because it forces us into a condition of uncertainty. Uncertainty is a condition that we all naturally avoid, often by just forcing uncertainty away without actually changing anything. If you have been following this blog for a time and/or if you have paid attention to the events of the past 18 months, you should be at least somewhat along the way toward unlearning.
Once we unlearn the things which limit our view, then we must learn something new to fill the void left by the think we unlearned. In the case of self-reliance, the learning part is identifying things that need to change in our lives. This is an almost overwhelming amount of content when you start digging deep into self-reliance. It is more that any of us can manage and requires the skills associated with eating an elephant; one bite at a time. One purpose of this site is to help us identify things that are needful and also identify solutions to build those needful things into our lives, a little bit at a time.
Then comes wisdom. It has been said the wisdom is the result of the daily application of sound knowledge. The daily application of correct knowledge develops wisdom. Wisdom is the natural result of good choices daily. As we see the beneficial results from the application of correct knowledge, we grow in confidence and peace.
Some time ago, a wise man commented about Christianity saying essentially, Christianity is not an idea that has been tried and found not to work, rather it is an idea that has been found hard and not tried. Unfortunately, I do not know the person that originated this thought, but the idea has stuck with me for many years. I have come to believe that self-reliance is also an idea that has been found hard and not tried. I struggle with it and my current condition in life makes it relatively easy to pursue the concept. I am positive that it is much harder for many of the people I know because of differences in our current life demands. However, knowledge and wisdom have always had a price and often it is a high price.
This week’s message comes with a little unlearning (hopefully), some learning, and an opportunity for wisdom.
One thing that I knew but saw demonstrated openly on a national basis during the last year was the failure of the supply chain for many items that we used to take for granted. This was reinforced recently in a visit to a well-known store that sells groceries. I observed multiple aisles with large sections of empty shelves. Supply chain issues are being felt in many areas beyond groceries, including in appliances, vehicles, and building materials to name a few. Hopefully one thing that we have unlearned in the past 18 months is an expectation that we can go to a store and buy what we need anytime. If you have unlearned this belief, then we can move on to learning.
This week, learning involves coming to a clear understanding of what it takes to operate your home on a daily and weekly basis. When you go to your personal supply of household needs, what does it take to run your home. For this week focus only on things that you use routinely that you buy at a local store. Generally, this includes food, household supplies, and personal supplies. In order to address any issue, it first has to be defined. Learning this week involves defining your purchasing needs. On the Documents tab this week is a document that lists many things that are commonly used in a household. You can view it and print it from the Documents tab. This document is intended to be a starter to help you identify your consumables needs. It includes three sections as well as some blank lines. I used my own household as a starter to build the list.
Using the list, inventory what you have on hand or what you do not have right now but which you normally have and use. This list is only for consumables, and it not focused on long-term emergency storage. Do an inventory of your household and then identify from your inventory list, how much of each item you would normally use in a one-month period. Also calculate your needs for a three-month period.
Once you have identified your needs, determine how much of each item you need to purchase and write down a plan for each item that will allow you to have at least a one-month supply within the next three months. In your plan, included the Priority column so you are working on the most important items first.
In some reading recently, the author commented that she had a three-month supply of daily needs in her home storage. The result of this preparation was that any local, regional or national crisis related to these items was not a personal crisis in their home. The goal of this week’s exercise is to identify needs and build a plan to fill those needs. We have all seen the supply chain fail. If this learning turns into action on a personal level, then wisdom will arrive and peace will exist in your home regardless of outside conditions. One to three months of personal supplies enables us to respond carefully without panic when the rest of the world is burning. Having watched some panic buys in the past year causes me to want to avoid exposure to those issues from now on. I hope you determine to take similar action.
If you have comments or suggestions on the storage worksheet, share them by commenting on this weeks blog or emailing me through the contact section of the web site.