This may irritate some homesteaders out there, but this must be said:
Homesteaders are no better than anyone else.
Okay, now that I have said it, let me explain…
Recently, there has been a significant rise in the amount of people migrating to a more self-sufficient lifestyle – possibly due to the pandemic and all the chaos in the world since the end of 2019.
With that, I have also seen a lot of long-time homesteaders offering up great advise and teachings to those just getting their feet wet. I have also seen a few homesteaders, instead of teaching and giving pointers, simply telling these “newbies” that they need to research more, or they don’t belong, or they should get out now before they invest too much. Certainly, I can agree with the need to research, but why discourage others? We were all new to this at some point, right? Is this a competition and there is some kind of “Homesteader Award” out there that I don’t know about?
Some people are teachers, so they teach how to do something. Some people are not, so they tell others to find out for themselves. The latter is not what I’m frustrated about though. What has me hot under the collar are the homesteaders that I’ve heard of, or seen for myself, tell non-homesteaders that homesteading is better. That homesteaders are better people because they live a more self-sufficient lifestyle; that they appreciate life more; appreciate living more. Isn’t this just an opinion though?
They are making it sound as if homesteaders are morally superior to others. Guess what – we’re not. Granted, Jeff and I have only been homesteading for a few years, and we both still work our full-time jobs. There will come a day that Jeff and I will be able to step away from the workforce, but we want to be debt free first. Never have we ever stated that we are better than any other person or family that isn’t homesteading.
Yes, I believe that too many people spend too much time taking care of beautiful manicure lawns when a garden seems more practical for the space – and gardens give back… but not everyone can do that. Either by choice, physical limitations, ordinances, or neighborhood restrictions. And yes, I can appreciate anyone who says that self-sufficiency just isn’t their cup of tea. I get it – I used to be the same way. Even in Texas when we had our chickens, rabbits, and small garden… I left that up to Jeff. It wasn’t my desire at the time (but getting goats had a profound effect on my outlook and it all changed). Again though, it’s not for everyone. Even doctors, lawyers, airline pilots, and politicians… they aren’t better than anyone else either.
Just because someone earned their doctorate doesn’t mean they don’t still have to go shopping. They buy items placed on shelves by someone making just above minimum wage, with families of their own. EVERYONE in the country could go to college and get a doctorate degree… but guess what… there aren’t that many doctorate required jobs out there. So, if this were the case, there would be a doctor out there putting those groceries on the shelf. So see… having a doctorate doesn’t make you better, and neither does living a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
To clarify, most homesteaders I’ve met, hear about, watch on YouTube, or follow on social media are wonderful, down-to-earth, fantastic people. Some are teachers, and some are not – but good people regardless. HOWEVER, for those few that have gained the “We’re better” attitude, let me remind you of a few points:
These mason jars you use to can your beans… unless you’re a glass blower, someone else made these = you are not 100% self-sufficient.
Those boots your wearing… I could be wrong, but I’m not sure you made them yourself = you are not 100% self-sufficient.
Those batteries you use to hook up your solar power bank, certain you didn’t make these yourself = you are not 100% self-sufficient.
That green hat with a yellow jumping dear logo on it… positive you didn’t make that = you are not 100% self-sufficient.
Get off your high horse and realize that in the USA, to be 100% self-sufficient is almost impossible. You are not better because you grow you own food, though your food may taste better. You are not better because you process your own meat, though the animal likely lived a better life. You are not better because you use solar power, though you may pay nothing ( or at least, less) for electricity.
Granted, homesteaders may purchase less (depending… this is not a cheap undertaking), but it’s unlikely that any of us will ever be 100% self-sufficient. These pedestal sitters need to realize that there are hard working Americans out there every day, working their fingers to the bone to make or supply everyone with items we ALL need.
Jeff and I are homesteaders, but we are also consumers and customers. We have found what makes us happy, but that doesn’t make us superior… just happy.