It’s a fact that everyone experiences pitfalls and rough patches all throughout this journey we call life. However, we all have different methods of dealing with the hard times and different beliefs as to what actions we should take in order to address the issues at hand. For example, the idea of self-reliance is practiced and lived by many people. Some do believe that the only way to move ahead in life is by caring about yourself and only yourself. Some even go as far as saying that helping others will only slow down the momentum you have been working towards to get to where you want to be. In a basic scenario, we can say that you are driving a certain distance from point A to point B. Along the way you see a person on the side of the road in need of tools to change a flat tire. You have the tools but decide to keep heading towards your destination. You make it to point B without any problems and you continue to live your life. In a different situation; you decide to stop and help the person out. The both of you exchange a few laughs and move on with your day. You make it to point B later than you expected, but come to find out that the person you helped is the chairman for the company that you work for. After everything is said and done you realize that they took notice in your willingness to help others and offer you a promotion for your outstanding character and the fact that they can always depend on you to do the right thing.
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s happened to certain individuals in one way or another. Working alone and accomplishing certain tasks on your own give you the ability to have things turn out the way you want them to turn out. However, where would we be as a society if all we cared about was ourselves? The truth is, we count on on other people all the time. In the university environment, we see the majority of student rely on their parents for many things including gas, service on their vehicles, food, and a place to live. As adults, many people rely on their siblings, cousins, and friends for a variety of things including advice, emotional support, or something as simple as having a new hobby presented to them. The truth is we rely on each other more than we rely on ourselves most of the time. We continuously speak about the ideas of political thinkers in the classroom however, we see how drastically things have changed in the past couple decades. The world we live in now is nothing compared to the world Emerson and Sumner lived in. There are a lot of more moving parts in today’s society that allow self-reliance to be more and more difficult. In the end, the overall last and final task will require you to ask for help in some way. As a greater military leader once told me, “cleaning your weapon, preparing your gear. and working on your marksmanship is something only you can do for yourself however, winning a fight on the battle field requires you to depend on and trust the person next to you in the best and worst of situations.”