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What is Self Reliance?

November 9, 2012
Store shelves after regional emergency

Waiting sometimes leaves little choice…


My phone rang. I looked at the clock – 11 pm. The caller ID said it was my neighbor across the street. Her husband works late. I picked up the phone.

Neighbor: “I just cut my finger real bad. I may have cut off the whole end.”

Quick questions from me: “Are you sitting down? Are you applying pressure around the end of your finger where you cut it? Do you have your hand raised above your shoulder or head?” All answers were “yes.”

“Let me grab my first aid stuff and I’ll be right over.” I called my EMT daughter-in-law to ask about waiting until daylight hours if stitches were needed. She groaned at the prospect of a late-night visit to the college town ER. She said to call her back if I needed a second pair of eyes.

I was a little nervous at what I might see, but I felt confident that no one would bleed to death or fall down trying.

How does my experience relate to the question, “What is self reliance?” In that late night moment, I felt I could RELY mostly on mySELF to help my friend. Why? Because I had put some thought and planning into a first aid kit and its use.

Empty grocery store shelves have been in the news alot these past two weeks. Any relation to self reliance?

In my lifetime, autumn has turned to a very big winter overnight. Prospects of springtime have brought racing torrents of flood water – more than once. Power lines have been damaged by grid failures or fallen trees. Water lines have frozen or normal water supplies have been compromised. Earthen dams have broken; earthquakes have rattled; my family and others I care for have lost employment, become ill, or suffered other tragedy.

Mother Nature and human nature’s message: “Do not expect warning sufficient for a trip to the store or the bank.”

What did I feel when I discovered that my first aid kit had what we needed at my neighbor’s house on that late winter evening? I felt what a lot of you feel about your planning.

You feel calm. You feel confident. You feel peace. You feel prepared. You feel resourceful . You feel grateful to God for the voices of encouragement, including His, to move forward in your planning and preparations.

May I be a voice of encouragement? May I say, “You can do more than you think is possible.” Hey, I passed a HAM radio license exam. Ever heard of ohms and amps???

Give heed to the voices of counsel that regularly encourage planning and improvement. There are ways to succeed, and we will explore them together here.

Happy planning, Nancy Heward

  1. Great article. Thanks, Nancy!

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