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Self-Reliance - What would Ralph say about Malibu and the Fin Whale?

What would Ralph Waldo Emerson say about the group of citizens who moved the Whale?

Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay "Self-Reliance" wrote:

“There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till.

The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried." 

Emerson also wrote: "[R]eliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance."

Self-Reliance is a word people in Malibu know well.  

This past week Malibu was self-reliant again when a group of citizen's figured out how to do what someone in Government said couldn't be done - that is to move the dead beached dead whale out to sea.

With natural disasters on the rise, is it time that we all think about how we can rely, not on Government, but on oneself and community?

The Fin Whale tale is another example of how Government, for whatever reason, can't always act quickly and get the job done.

Self-Reliance seems like a stronger and better word than Government.  Don't believe me?  Ask Matt Haines and his friends who saved their homes during the 2007 fire storm.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed December 11, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Pam, excellent sentiments. I couldn't agree more. Especially Emerson's quote, "[R]eliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance." I wonder what Emerson would have to say about your formula retail ordinance...self reliance in that instance would, to my mind, require the siplest of actions, locals should actually exercise choice and support local community businesses. Instead the people waive their arms in the air and cast aspersions at those business owners who are in fact self reliant and you have been their champion! Encouraging them to rely on government to solve their problems for them. I know of no other single Malibu City Council member (past or present) who has believed more strongly in the strong arm of government and your past legislative actions reflect this. There is no recconciling your comments in this piece with your past actions and statements.


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