The Self-Reliant Don't Snivel

Louis L’Amour, Education of a Wandering Man, Bantam, 1989, p. 180:

Times were often very rough for me but I can honestly say that I never felt abused or put-upon. I never felt, as some have, that I deserved special treatment from life, and I do not recall ever complaining that things were not better. Often I wished they were, and often found myself wishing for some sudden windfall that would enable me to stop wandering and working and settle down to simply writing. Yet it was necessary to be realistic. Nothing of the kind was likely to happen, and of course, nothing did.

I never found any money; I never won any prizes; I was never helped by anyone, aside from an occasional encouraging word – and those I valued. No fellowships or grants came my way, because I was not eligible for any and in no position to get anything of the sort. I never expected it to be easy.

It is very difficult these days to explain the classic American value of self-reliance to 'liberals,' especially that species thereof known as the 'snowflake.'   Not understanding it, they mock it, as if one were exhorting people to pull themselves up by their own boot straps, which, of course, is impossible.

Sometimes we need the help of others. When we do, we should not be ashamed to ask for it. The self-reliant, however, seek the help of others only after they have exhausted their own resources. And when we do seek the help of others, we should start with those around us, family and friends, proceeding if necessary to local resources of civil society, and only as a last resort making appeal to the agencies of government.

I am slightly embarrassed to say something so obvious. But in these times of national melt-down, when the miasma of mass delusion overspreads the land, the obvious needs to be stated and repeated.