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How Independent Are We Really?

What if

In my humble opinion, we are very dependent… on both public systems and businesses!

When I moved out of my parent’s house back when I was a teenager going to college, I thought that I was independent!  I felt like such a grown-up, making my way in the world, going to college to better myself.  Once I bought my first car and house, I had similar feelings.

Once I got my car and house paid off, I thought wow, I’m totally debt free, how independent I am.  I thought in 10 years, I’d totally be financially free, I’m such an independent guy!

Compared to most folks, I’m average, oh maybe I’m better with my finances than most (I’m so financially savvy), but similar in level of independence.

So I got the thinking, how independent am I, in the truest sense of the word?

Let’s pretend that the end of the world as we know it will happen in 2012 (hopefully not) and the world is destroyed, but many of us were still alive.  Barring some massive contamination of the earth, how independent would I be if there were no electricity, water or energy systems in place?  What if we were reduced to using manual tools and basic skills to survive?

I’m not going to discuss the transportation system, but everybody should realize that after a few years, those would begin to fall apart or get overgrown with vegetation.

Okay, so how would my family cope with the following concerns:

  • Water:  I would have to move immediately closer to a water source.  My house doesn’t have any pond or lake close by, and water would be a good thing to have!  Oh, I might stay in my house until the gas in my car runs out, but after than I would have to move closer to water!
  • Hopefully I can find a unoccupied house close to that water source above!
  • Food, pre-packaged food for me.  I don’t have a garden or even canned food that would last me longer than a week.  Ouch, I’m going hungry soon if I don’t figure out a food source.  Next year or whenever spring occurs, a garden would be top priority if I can find seeds!
  • I’ll miss wearing clothes (lol)!  Hopefully I can rummage though a clothing store of some sort, grabbing as much as I can!  if not then it’ll be deer skins for me (hopefully)
  • Candles“, how are they made again?  Those would be gone in the store too, light is a good thing, I’ll miss that at night!
  • Boy, I’m already missing seafood… and pizza, and McDonalds (lol)
  • I hope my shoes last a long time!  I better stock up on those too.
  • Paper, pencils, pens, erasers – Welcome to the new/old version of the internet.
  • I hope my bed lasts a long time!  I hate sleeping on the ground!  I better grab more blankets, the winters will be much colder.  Perhaps I should move south too…
  • I don’t hunt, but apparently, I will now have too.
  • Dirt is now my friend since I don’t have running water for a shower and I can’t clean the carpet without a vacuum cleaner.
  • Sniff, I miss my nicely groomed lawn (sort of, nawwww)…
  • I better find some decent knives and sharpening stones!

Okay, I can keep going on, but obviously I’m very depending on society and the marketplace to provide the majority of my needs!

What dependent are you?  What would it be like if you didn’t have electricity, running water, sewage (oh yeah, the world would stink again), and grocery/department stores to provide your needs?

-MR

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15 Responses to How Independent Are We Really?

  1. A very thought provoking post! Sadly, there are people in forgotten countries who do live like this. Reminds me of a SIMS game I played a while back!

  2. Very interesting post MR! I would be a mess without the things you mentioned. I would have to think back to ‘Little House on the Prairie’ and try to remember how they did it!

  3. Although I recognize I am very dependent on society, I would love to off the electrical or power grid. Not to be self sufficient, but in Los Angeles, they use it as a tax to support trash pickup and police.

  4. I have experienced some of this kind of living when I was in Poland at age 10, but even my aunt went next door to the bakery and bought her bread.

    The no running water thing is a drag. Lugging buckets of water in and out of the house takes a lot of energy.

    People used to stuff their mattresses with Straw and if they were well off, then they used horse hair. Don’t let the bed bugs bite!

    Yes, communities rock.

  5. I’m too spoiled to live in a no-electricity world for long. The 8 days we had no power after Hurricane Ike completely stunk. I really rather not have to hunt and gather and deal with bodily stuff without running water…

  6. We would be completely screwed. We live in the middle of the city and things would go to hell in a hand basket pretty quick. There is a river a few blocks from our place, but other than that I don’t know…..
    I guess I could high tail it down to the marina and hi jack a kayak and go down river.

  7. Hey, dirt is always your friend, especially when under the fingernails…..
    Here in the ‘burbs we’re fairly dependent on systems, although we have short-term backups or alternates like a generator, fireplace, lanterns. Out in the country, we’re a bit more resilient with well-water. We don’t yet have solar or wind, but probably will in the future.

    • Ahhh, but do you need electricity to make the well work? That’s the big question! 🙂

      I admit, I take it for granted that I have it as easy as I do…