A pilgrim’s progress | PostIndependent.com

A pilgrim’s progress

Out on a Limb
Ross Talbott
Glenwood Springs, CO, Colorado

Can you, in your wildest imagination, see yourself standing on the shore watching the Mayflower disappear over the horizon? You are thinking, “Oh my God, what have I done?”

It’s hard for us in this day to grasp the concept of independence that the pilgrims had.

Did we remember the aspirin? Oh wait, it didn’t exist. What if we get sick? I hope the seed corn will sprout. Is your cell phone charged? Did we bring our park pass? Who’s got the pop-up tent?

OK, so I’m being facetious. In a very real sense, independence is a radical change in your state of dependence. The pilgrims went from being dependent on the king to being dependent on their own ability to cope with a totally new environment.

I just can’t grasp the responsibility of providing for the safety and survival of a wife and family under those circumstances.

Another side of self-dependence is the reality of consequences. I can’t imagine the pilgrims standing in line to apply for reimbursement from the king for travel expenses.

No worries about withholding tax, tax returns or property tax: no property. They probably built that first log cabin without a permit, a building inspector or a tax assessor.

I’m beginning to realize why they exchanged the hardship of government for the hardship of survival.

Hey, does anyone know how to cook a turkey?

I can sort of relate to the guts and adventure of men who do crazy things like the pilgrims, but I am just as awed by the women who were willing to risk so much for the concept of freedom.

Closely tied with the concept of independence is the absolute necessity of interdependence. The pilgrims needed each other to exchange ideas, share skills, share the vision and give emotional support.

I’m sure that theft, graffiti and pornography were no problem for the pilgrims. When your survival is hanging by such a thin thread, the noble virtues rise to the surface.

A sense of entitlement in a person brings out the worst character traits. Conversely, a commitment to interdependence brings out the noble virtues.

Another great quality that contributed to the pilgrim’s success was their ability to overcome fear. Fear is the great oppressor and is used by dictators, gangs and especially the evil one himself. A gang controls a community by fear.

Talk about self-confidence: The pilgrims were giants.

The concept of independence in telling the king, “Nuts to you, we’re out of here,” no longer works.

Real freedom comes in freedom from fear through a close relationship with God and confidence in eternity.

In addition to that, maybe we should also change Independence Day to inner dependence day.

Can we take satisfaction in knowing our word is true? Are we self-reliant? Can we accept the consequences of our own actions and not expect Big Brother (government) to bail us out?

Can we rise above self-centeredness and help our community of pilgrims succeed in this new wilderness man has created?

Now, more than ever, we are subjected to manipulation and mind control through all the electronic media, everything from TV to Facebook.

History is distorted, reality is blurred, and truth is difficult to discern.

We need a new group of pilgrims who are fearless, self-reliant, gutsy and clear thinkers: people who are independent, inner-dependent, and interdependent.

“Out On A Limb” appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Ross Talbott lives in New Castle, where he is a business owner.

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