At the most recent Porc Fest, I had the pleasure of listening to a presentation by an extended family that is working very hard to become self-sufficient. They talked for over an hour on all the various aspects of such a life, but what I found most interesting was the mention of danger.
We all know that some energy-related jobs, such as coal mining, are fairly dangerous. What I hadn't thought about was that most forms of energy production are also fairly dangerous. Oil rig work pays well because it is a dirty and dangerous job, that seems obvious. But more importantly, and as their talk indicated, localized energy production also has its safety issues.
Cutting down trees for firewood can also be quite dangerous. The danger lies not only in the falling trees that can crush you to death, but in the chainsaw that can easily cut off limbs. The talk also pointed out the dangers inherent in other forms or production, some you wouldn't expect. I remember the discussion of storing locally produced gases being pertinent, and questions from the crowd pointing out all the little "gotchas" that you wouldn't even guess without some experience.
But the thought that I had, and that went unspoken, is that the usage and the generation of energy is dangerous, but knowing how to manage those types of dangers is important. This is something our forefathers all knew because they experienced it. They had to go out and chop wood, and in the process learn how to manage their fears. In other words, their lifestyle taught them how to be brave.
In this country, the "land of the free, and the home of the brave", bravery has been fading away. Comfortable lives lived distant from the dangerous sources of energy production have been partially responsible for Americans forgetting how to be brave. But it is bravery that allows us to be free! A scared population cries out for protection, and the politicians are more than eager to build their power by providing the illusion of safety that government maintains.
I'm not sure we can do anything to renew the bravery of the American people, but here in New Hampshire we are seeing some possible answers. One week after I moved here as part of the Free State Project, I saw Mike Fisher hauled off to jail for the egregious crime of giving a manicure. Since then I've seen others earn their brass balls awards, such as Russell Kanning, Lauren Canario, and SamIAm - all brave individuals attempting to live free. Others have been fighting hard to roll back the growing police state, like Matt Simon of NH Common Sense and the increasingly powerful crew at the NH Liberty Alliance. The voice of freedom is being heard more and more in the media here, as folks like Free Talk Live and the Liberty Conspiracy inform and educate the people.
And so, on this Independence Day, I have hope. Hope, that at least here in New Hampshire, we can regain our freedom because we are regaining our bravery.