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Self-Sufficiency: Philosophy & Economy – Guest Post

Book Tour: A Little Piece of EnglandThe following guest post comes from John Jackson, author of ‘A Little Piece of England: A Tale of Self-Sufficiency’, which tells the tale of how the he and his family, living in a sliver of countryside in London’s commuter belt, worked to become self-sufficient. I approached John about reviewing his book and agreed to participate in their virtual book tour by allowing him to share his thoughts on self-sufficiency Vs. “selfish sufficiency”. Enjoy!

Self-Sufficiency: Philosophy & Economy
I have said many times that self sufficiency is about philosophy as well as economy. This is particularly important if the self sufficiency is conducted on a co-operative family basis. All the family members learn how to take responsibility for a particular task and to do it well for the benefit of the whole family as well as themselves. That engenders self respect and a sense of self reliance but in the context of a communal whole. We have evolved as social animals but the modern world sometimes over rewards individualism. That is why I have often also pointed out the difference between self sufficiency and selfish sufficiency.

Self-sufficiency can be practiced almost anywhere.
It is wrong to think of self sufficiency as if it expresses some kind of art form. Nor should those with more experience think of themselves as ‘advanced’ or in any way superior. Of course it is wise to start small, to realise that one has much to learn and be prepared to learn from or help others. But that is common sense and something different. Self sufficiency, if one really wants to ‘do it’, can be tried in nearly all circumstances. Growing herbs on ones window cill is one example and, provided you can secure safely the hutch in the interest of the inhabitants and those below, that same widow cill can harbour urban rabbits.

Balance and common sense.
It is, I think, unwise to centre ones life round self sufficiency, to ‘move to the country’, to change ones personal circumstances so as to be more or less self sufficient. Far better to aim for a balanced life recognising that many different factors (not least the situation of different family members) determine where the balancing point is at different times. The degree of self sufficiency that is possible or sensible will change therefor and looking back or forward makes little sense. Indeed flexibility and the ability to adjust and re-balance are an important part of self sufficiency in both a philosophical and economic sense.

About the author
John Jackson is the author of ‘A Little Piece of England: A Tale of Self-Sufficiency’, which tells the tale of how the he and his family, living in a sliver of countryside in London’s commuter belt, came, over some ten years, to make itself self-sufficient. At the time, John was on the Board of Directors of the electronics company, Philips, and his wife was raising their three young children so it was the ultimate ‘spare time’ project.  

To buy the book, please head to amazon.com or amazon.co.uk, where it is available as an ebook or in paperback.

THE BOOK TOUR
You have reached the end of the book tour. To find out more about John and his book please head to www.jjbooks.com.

Category: Our Guests, Rants

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