Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Call to Arms, 2017. Part Three: The Mind, the Pen and the Wherewithal of Self-Reliance

I can blame all of my social thought on one thing. It's this: what goes on around me is not the way I feel inside. I mean, I live in a small, but congested town. I work, very part time, in a restaurant. I am forced to mix with people, and the more this happens, the more I lose all faith in humanity. Couple all of this with recent political events and the way events are packaged to us via news outlets and of course I have certain social thought.

I see the world with a Kaizen lens. I also see the world like my BMW 2002. Kaizen is the practice of self improvement via small but significant changes. For instance if you're fat, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This is a small change, next you'll stop eating processed food, start making your own meals with whole ingredients, sell your big suv for a small car or no car, stop watching tv and start reading. But it all started with the decision to take the stairs. The BMW 2002? I owned that car many, many years ago. I am not a good mechanic. Anything that squeaked, rattled or annoyed me on that car I simply removed. It's amazing how much you can take off of a car and it will still go and stop. I treat my life in the same way, on both points.

I feel like self-reliance often gets confused with self-sufficiency. I guess they're similar. To me, self-sufficiency comes in levels. You can pay all your bills, get to work and contribute to society and do it successfully and be self-sufficient. You can be an off the grid and have no need of anyone else sort of person and be self-sufficient. But to be self-reliant is universal.

Self-reliance, to me at least, is the deeper knowing of oneself. It's knowing that every decision is the right decision, every day is the right day. It means not to get emotionally, financially, intellectually mired in the things that really don't matter. If you ask me, very little matters, very, very little. To enjoy self-reliance, you must have all the tools you need and often these tools are always available as long as you tax them a little. Being secure in your abilities and thoughts will make the day and the day's tasks easier. Being secure in your accomplishments and your goals creates the courage to continue in the day and the day's tasks. Knowing your downfalls, your past mistakes and any shortcomings as being a part of who you are will make the day and the day's tasks easier.

As a writer, or any artist, really, self-reliance must be part of the fabric. If it's not, why write or make art? What would be the purpose? I have always placed writers and artists above any other profession because they are honest. Writers and artists must be self-reliant. For writers and artist, every decision is the right decision, every day the right day.

What about the Kaizen? What about the BMW 2002? My suggestion to anyone questioning their self-reliance, take it in small steps. Start to think about decisions, and emotions and thoughts. When these make sense under the lens of self, you're on your way. When you're secure with yourself and it's time to create art, when it's time to write, remember how little everything else matters. Treat the day to day stuff as I might treat a BMW 2002. If it squeaks, rattles or annoys you, remove it. It doesn't take much to sustain life: air, water, food, shelter. Taking life to it's barest essentials is good for everyone. And it will free up a great deal of time. Time better spent working creative endeavors. Being self-reliant you will lose all fear. Every decision is the right decision and every day is the right day.

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