“Every path but your own is the path of fate. Keep on your own track, then.” Thoreau
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” Emerson
'Self reliance' is a term that means different things to different people. To some it might mean chopping firewood, while to others it might mean financial independence. In rural areas especially, self-reliance has come to mean the ability to grow and store your own food, or perhaps advanced wilderness skills.
All of the aforementioned really are forms of self-reliance. The learning of new skills result in an increased level of independence. During these stressful modern times, this skill set provides security. However, the most important form of self-reliance is not a physical skill.
Critical thinking and the ability to hold on to your unique thoughts in the face of opposition are skills that are essential to to the self-reliant mind, which is in turn essential to a truly self-reliant person. Think of Henry Thoreau and John Muir. Both lived alone in the wilderness according to their own philosophies, and both had many other options. They often serve as inspiration in my own life.
Mental self-reliance is an incredibly broad subject, so I won't attempt to cover it all here. Simply taking responsibility for your actions and your well-being is an important start.
I highly recommend the works of Muir, Thoreau and Emerson if you'd like to learn more, especially during this time of new beginnings.
“Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.” John Muir
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