Nobody is going to save you - Bro

SELF RESCUE! I scream at my kids for like the hundredth time. My kids love to climb rocks. At first they would climb up a rock and when they wanted down they would just scream for the nearest parent. That got old (not to mention interesting when they got up on rocks a bit too big). The solution was to teach them about self rescue.

My two monkeys playing in Breckenridge

The idea of self rescue is two parts. First it is important to try not to get yourself in a position you cannot undo. Before you climb that big rock you need to figure out how you are going to get back down. My kids learned if the rock was not easy to get down from they could not climb it. The second part of self rescue is when you get yourself into an uncomfortable spot it is up to you to get yourself out of it. Nobody is going to swoop in and rescue you.

I first heard about self rescue when I started to learn about camping. When you are out of cell coverage in the back woods you cannot simply call 911 if you get into trouble. Instead you must be prepared with the tools to take care of yourself, the attitude that you will persevere and survive, and the persistence to do what you need. If you fall and sprain your ankle you might need to make a crutch or splint and simply take an extra day or two to get where you can get some help. Panic does not help, blame does not help, and anger does not help.

This principle applies to personal finance on many levels. On a most basic level it translates to you should not take on debt (climb a big rock) without a plan to take care of it. From a more broad perspective if you are in a rough position (job loss, debt, or other) nobody is going to rescue you. It is up to you to sacrifice, make improvements, and move on.

It is never bad to seek help but in the end it is up to you to get the job done. A few sayings come to mind.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-Robert Frost

“God helps those who help themselves”

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” -serenity prayer


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