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The freedom of versatility.

Specialization is not a natural human characteristic; it is learned. From the time we are small children we are asked "What do you want to be when you grow up?" This begins the expectation that we must choose a specialization to devote our fives to. This is carried on through our "schooling" years with pressure to choose a career. "Make something of yourself" is a common admonition, when in reality we all have the potential to become the multi-faceted creatures that we are. Sadly, the odds are against us.

Human beings are very versatile creatures capable of doing a variety of things. There are still a few of us out here who don't want or need specialization or the money it brings to be the main focus of our existence. Why spend your life working to make one thing, collect your pay, and spend what free time you have at the store buying what thousands of others have spent their week making, so they can go and buy the one thing that you have made?

Consider that most of these things we can produce ourselves-- often less expensively, always better quality, and at the same time providing a real sense of accomplishment. All this right on the home place without paying for a "specialist."

The reality is, most of the things we need, we have the ability to produce ourselves. This often requires little or no money. The illusion is that we must pay specialists to meet our needs.

We have a need to work with our hands and see the results of that work. The ability to look at our home, orchard, barn or whatever we have made and know that part of ourselves is in those things is something money can't buy. These things will remain for the good of others long after we are gone.

Human beings need (and are capable of providing) nourishment. Sweet is the nourishment that the labor of our hands brings from the garden. Our bodies are nourished by the food and the labor of tending and preparing the homegrown food. Our souls are nourished by the beauty and simplicity. Our spirits are nourished by the miracle of being part of the life cycle.

Human beings need and are capable of providing clothing and shelter. When we have taken some type of material in one form and turned it into another form, slowly going through each process to meet our family's needs, then we are truly clothed. When our shelter has been obtained by our own sweat in harmony with the surrounding environment, we are truly sheltered.

Each of us has a need for love; something no car or article of clothing or any other product can bring us. Love comes from sharing and giving of oneself to another. It is a commitment that when kept will make all that the specialists have to offer small in comparison.

The result of our creativity--beauty--is brought into our lives and homes by the work of our hands in creating things pleasant to look at and use. This develops within us a gentle and quiet spirit that is able to see and appreciate the natural beauty around us without a "need" for Madison Avenue's illusions.

When you not only exist, but live and experience life, you won't need Madison Avenue's specialists to tell you how. You will know your needs and the real cost of those needs. When you have put a part of yourself in the things around you the value is great. This value is spiritual, not merely monetary. You have become versatile and have given of yourself. You have given everything.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Countryside Publications Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:homesteading
Author:Jackson, Vickie
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Column
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:608
Previous Article:The Non-Consumers Digest.
Next Article:The Harvest Gardener.
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