When you are first venturing into the world of self-sustainability, you tend to think it is all about living alone, preferably far away from those that make you more dependent on society. However, you can soon learn that this is not true.
Independence and self-sufficiency are not synonymous with isolation, and keeping this sort of mentality is largely unproductive for those of us who want to lead free and sustainable lives. The reason why this is the case is because isolation leads to vulnerability, and vulnerability is the opposite of sustainability. So in order to maintain a sustainable lifestyle, it’s not enough to go at it alone. Maintaining a network of people that one can trust is also important.
Why Networks Matter
When you begin to think about self sustainability, you should always think in the long term. You can plan for the next day, for the next month or even the next year, but you can’t always anticipate what the future will bring. Accidents and calamities happen all the time, and whenever such contingencies happen, one man alone can only do so much to cope with the situation. For those who have a network of people backing them up, however, such problems are more easily dealt with, thanks to the additional help and resources that the network brings.
How Networks Translate to Self-Sustainability
The most productive way to think of your network is to look at them as a tribe. A single man may achieve self-sufficiency, but a tribe ensures protection and support. Consider, for example, tribal societies in places like Central Asia or Latin America. People in small communities help each other all the time, despite whatever problems they may face, and this is what allows them to survive.
In contrast, modern society basically makes us dependent on social bureaucracy, and should that bureaucracy fail then society fails as well. In other words, what makes tribes different modern society is personal connections and trust. They are defined by interdependence, as opposed to just plain dependence.
Now, this doesn’t mean that people should start forming their own tribe out in the woods. What is important, however, is that people, like us, who are concerned about self-sufficiency, should start networking with one another, sharing ideas and building bonds of trust to help create stable social relationships.