Over the last couple of years, my wife and I have made a decision to become more self-sufficient as a family. For far too long, we’ve been reliant on companies and other people to provide for us. We, as a society, have become complacent and dependent on these companies to supply us with our needs. But, what would happen if one, or more, of those companies go under? Or what if they are doing things that are not morally ethical and you don’t want to be a part of it? What would you do?
My wife is a photographer and realtor. Myself? I’m a geek with a computer. My children? They know social networking, gaming, and school work. If something were to happen to our economy, we would be dead in the water, so to speak. As father and head of the household, it’s been my responsibility to provide for my family and give direction. Upon reflection, I am not doing a good job.
Do I provide? Sure. I work hard. I bring home a paycheck. I offer my family needs and luxury because I can make decisions and type on a keyboard. But, what if that changes? What if my job is no longer needed? What am I teaching my children about hard work and providing for themselves? I am probably not unlike many other fathers out there. I am concerned that I have given my family to the dependency of so many companies, whose decisions are based on profit, not needs.
I was raised in the city. Never on a farm. Never hunted. Never really provided for my family except to bring home money. That’s not evil or a bad thing. I’m just not prepared for a worst-case event, and my priority should be my family, second only to God.
Therefore, my wife and I have made a decision to try to become more self-sufficient. It’s a very slow process, and we are limited based on funds and where we live. But, we are making plans nonetheless. We’ve started a garden, that is growing every year. We want to start raising chickens for their eggs and meat. We want to start hunting so that we are not useless during a time of crisis. Solar panels can help subsidize our heating and electricity. Looking at making our own wine.
You may be saying right now, “Wait…. are you one of those ‘preppers’?”. Ha. Certainly not. But, I do want to look at the future and not be worried if something does, in fact, happen. My wife and I are disgusted at how some of these companies provide meat at such a massive scale. How we are eating so many chemicals to preserve and enhance our foods. I just want to do my part to help my family and teach them how to provide for their families when they get older.
My wish list? I would *love* to find (and afford) a large 200-acre plot of land that I can just go hunting in, anytime I want or need. To build my own tree stands and take my own children to hunt. To have enough garden vegetables and chickens so that we are not required to go to the grocery store every few days. Do I want to be a farmer? No. But, I do want to stop being an illiterate and naive person, and start investing in my family, instead of investing my work at a company/job that may not last. If something were to happen to me, I have something to give to my children, and their children.
I have many friends who hunt for themselves. Not for the sport, but for their family. I have such enormous respect for that, I wish I can live with them for a few weeks so I can truly learn what it means to be a “provider”. They don’t do it because that’s all they know. These people are incredibly smart, and have good jobs. They don’t *have* to hunt. They do it because it’s a necessary skill that so many have lost or are unwilling to learn.
There is a sense of freedom with how people used to live a few hundred years ago. Do I want to completely cut us off? Absolutely not! I love my phone, my computers, my movies/TV! But, I do feel there is a sense of pride when doing things yourself. I look forward to hunting with my wife and kids, and am so excited about it! Hopefully, I’ll be purchasing my first bow soon, and I expect to be fully hunting in 2015.
At the end of the day, I’m excited to eating with my wife and kids at the dinner table. The food gathered by the kids. Cooked by my wife. Caught by us. Wine made ourselves……. total freedom. The only time I want to go to the store, is for luxury…. not because we *have* to.
The bow image courtesy of Diamond Archery. The garden vegetables courtesy of Oakley Originals. Both images unaltered based on Creative Commons 2.0.