It is amazing that growing your own food, buying local and seasonal, and trying to consume less is such a revolutionary act; but it is. Being self-sufficient helps us realize the difference between right and wrong. Self-sufficiency is, in fact, the realization of what is right. Being self-sufficient is the right thing to do because it is a good in itself. I am new to this realization of the need to be self-sufficient, and the most disconcerting thing about realizing this need is two-fold: first, how could I not have realized it before, and secondly being self-sufficient is very difficult in today’s society.
It is an interesting experience to realize that you have been living your life with your proverbial eyes closed for most of your life. The experience is un-nerving yet it is motivating; it motivates you to either make excuses or do what is right. I’ve found that there are a number of ways that we can do what is right, but it takes work.
These days I am reminded of doing what is right in some peculiar ways. I am reminded when I look out my window at the green lawn that surrounds my house: I need to replace it with a more suitable and sustainable landscape. I am reminded when I am weeding the garden or planting food. I am reminded when I am at the grocery store (the failure dome as I now call it) making choices about the food I will buy. Of course, I am reminded of it every time I read the news and often when I talk to friends.
Doing the right thing is not really a choice that we have. We can no longer choose to support the corporate food industry and call it an ethical decision: it is not. That being said, doing the right thing is not easy. We can no longer call ourselves independent simply because we make a good living: we are not. Being independent is not as easy as making a lot of money. We know a right thing when we come across it, and in fact, there is only one thing easy about the right thing: we know what it is. Being self-sufficient is the right thing because being self-sufficient forces us to realize that we are not separate from the world we live in, but a part of that world.
It truly is an amazing experience when we realize our moral beliefs in an objective way. And, as strange as it may seem, being self-sufficient is the way to realize the difference between right and wrong. Being self-sufficient is not right because it allows us to live in a sustainable way, or protects us from Armageddon, or prepares us for the end of society. Being self-sufficient is right because it is good. It is good to live honestly, independently, considerately, and responsibly. Doing the right thing because we can choose to do so is the greatest human capacity. Doing what is right may be difficult, but it is always the most moral choice.