Monday, October 20, 2008

Provident Living - A Way Of Life

The wisdom of living providently has been recognized since ancient times. Joseph encouraged the Egyptians to store grain during the seven “fat” years against the lean years to come. From the ancient Greek storyteller, Aesop, comes a fable about the ant and the grasshopper, which illustrates in a very simple way the principle of provident living. In time of plenty, the grasshopper took no thought for what he might need when the winter came. But the ant worked busily, preparing and providing for a time when food would not be so plentiful. The ant could look to the future with confidence, while the grasshopper—if he thought about the future at all—could only hope for the best.

But living providently is more than just putting aside food for future need. It encompasses all areas of life. If we want to face the future with confidence and peace of mind, we must prepare ourselves in six areas: literacy and education, career development, financial and resource management, home production and storage, physical health, and social-emotional and spiritual strength. When we strive to prepare in each of these areas, we can enjoy peace of mind as we face the uncertainties of the future.

This quote is from an article that was published over 20 years ago. It was published when many people thought that it was "radical" to store food or at the very least silly, and a waste of time, space and money. Now it seems like storing food is the new "hip" thing to do.

But this quote says two important things - First, we need to store during times of plenty so that we aren't caught unprepared when things change. So hopefully, people have been storing food for the past few years, and aren't trying to start now during this time of high food prices and an uncertain economy. Second, provident living isn't just about storing food. It is a way of life. We need to focus our lives on building skills in many areas, not just food storage, so that we can live a more self-reliant life.

I meet with a small group of women every month. The name of the group is "Women Living Wisely" and we discuss/learn about different things from each of the six areas. We have talked about food storage, but we have also learned about yoga, stress management, ways to increase our creativity, quilt-tying, organization, adult education, and crocheting, just to name a few. I'm still a long way from being self-sufficient, but it has been helpful for me be able to meet with other women and learn from them and take small steps toward that big goal.

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