Different buzzwords come up when discussing permaculture and alternative lifestyles, sustainability, self sufficiency, resilience, self reliance.
What does a word like sustainability mean exactly? It means that whatever it is we do, we must be able to sustain the doing of it, everyone understands what this means in the context of resource extraction for example, but the concept also needs to be understood at the individual level.
There is nothing we can do personally about the planet, we can only take care of what we have the power to control, the only way we can start caring about the planet is by beginning at the personal level, at the family level, what are my habits, our habits, how do we take care of ourselves and those near to us.
Sustainability at the individual level is dependent on our capacity to be resilient and self reliant, we can make good long-term decisions only from a position of personal safety and independence, when we are not in fear, but secure in our circumstances.
The more self reliant we are, the less we are dependent on government. If this could be applied on a large scale, it would make for a better balance of power, where governments must serve the people and not the other way round.
If we become dependent on a central authority or structure for the things we desire or need, our path to self reliance disappears very quickly.
To be sure, it is exceedingly difficult to be self reliant as an individual, or as a single family unit, so we have to rely on the people around us, relatives and friends, the local community, those with whom we share a common ground of culture, ideas and social connections.
In the current circumstances many come to value, unconsciously to a large degree, material comforts and electronic gadgets over freedom and independence, initiating a feedback loop which produces more and more needs and less and less freedom.
Resilience at the individual level is the product of mental fortitude and practical experience, combined with circumstances that enable us to make use of these qualities and create a secure and abundant environment for us and the people around us.
A resilient society is made up of resilient individuals, with the strength and the knowledge to do the right thing, not just the easy thing, with the skills to produce the outcome they desire, without needing to ask for help from above.