Self-sustainability, individualism, independence; these concepts have analogies in the empirical world: eating, working, and learning respectively. Homesteading takes the concepts and their analogies and reminds us that they are inexplicably woven together. There is a logical, a philosophical beauty to these three concepts that is brought together by realizing that relationship that we all have to the world around us.
This is not “our” world, but it is the world in which we live in. When we lose sight of this simple fact we lose the ability to be self-sustaining. It is at that very moment that we are no longer independent individuals; it is at that moment that we cease to work and learn. What we eat is of no consequence, or so we think. But, without realizing it (perhaps) we eat what we are given. Think about this the next trip to the grocery store.
The adventure of homesteading is like all adventures, however: it is wrought with confusion, conflict, contrivances, and frustration. Homesteading is a true adventure because it is defined by the world in which we live, and not by us or our desires. The goal of homesteading is to learn to work, and to work to eat. Nature (as usual) had it right all along.
Homesteading is a political statement as well. To truly be an individual we must be independent and to to be independent we must be self-sustaining. If in the act of learning to work in order to eat we can remember that in doing so we are also creating our individualism by independently being self-sustaining, we will have come a long way in becoming a person rather than simply a human being. And that, my friend, is worth its weight in gold.