The most important component of self-reliance won’t cost you a dime. The most important part is knowledge. If a fairy-godmother were to put a truckload of food in your garage, install a complete alternate power system in your home and plop a lush, thriving garden in your backyard, if you do not have the skills to put these things to good use, they will profit you nothing. That’s why this month’s goal is to learn a new skill or improve a skill you’ve already learned.
Add to that skills that are useful in an emergency: first aid, cooking without electricity, CERT, etc.
Where to learn
Take an adult education class. Moorhead Community Education offers a whole host of evening classes. (I took a class from Moorhead Community Ed to learn how to make a compost tumbler from a 55-gallon drum and went home with a compost tumbler at the end of the 2 1/2 hour class. Last year I made two more tumblers using what I learned from this class.) Most of the classes offered are only one-night and last 2-3 hours.
Find a friend who can teach you a skill you want to learn. There’s no better way to learn something than hands-on learning, so find someone you can “apprentice” with.
If you don’t have a friend that can teach you, there is always the Internet. It’s no secret that the Internet is a treasure trove of information. Put it to good use. You can learn most of the skills I’ve listed above by watching Youtube videos, visiting websites or taking one of hundreds of online seminars and courses. I’ve linked to several good educational sites in this post to get you started.
Better Skills = Better Income
Another reason to learn new skills is to increase your earning power or give you greater job security. Financial security and being debt free are key to your family’s well-being. Take a class, course or seminar to increase your earning capacity or keep you updated in your career. There are many online college courses that are free, but you may need to pay a fee for certification. You can try shopping around for online universities or visit sites like Edx, Coursera and Udacity, which bring several universities and accredited courses together into one umbrella organization.
No Time for a Class? No Problem
It takes 35 minutes for me to get from my house into town, so I’ve made it a habit to have lots of podcasts to listen to while I’m in the car. There’s no end to what you can learn while listening to educational podcasts. Listen while you are driving in the car, working in the garden or doing other chores.
One of my all-time favorites not listed in the link above: Twelve Byzantine Rulers by Lars Brownworth. After you listen to that series, you’ll want to listen to his series on the Normans. It has nothing to do with preparedness or even life skills, but it is fascinating learning.
We are all better for being life-long learners. Make preparedness skills part of your learning.