12 Life Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

In the last couple of years, I have uttered to myself, “worst since the Great

Shop Keepers Helped Out Neighbors
Many Shop Keepers Helped Out Neighbors By Allowing Them To Purchase Food On Credit. Many Went Out Of Business-including my grandfather-in-law. [photo source: pinimg.com]
Depression” far too often for my liking.  Frankly, it makes me nervous.  The remedy to calm my nerves is homesteading.

As homesteaders, or those of us who aspire to be, self reliance is our direction.  I believe it is important to reflect on the lessons learned by our grandparents and great-grandparents.  Here are twelve life lessons to embrace today:

  1. Cowboy Up!  No One
    Take note of the NRA poster, self reliance is more than raising your own food.
    Take note of the NRA poster, self reliance is more than raising your own food. [image source: pinimg.com]
     Should Do This For You: We, as a people, are too dependent on the government.  We are not entitled to receive anything accept that which God has given us.  We need to step up and provide for ourselves, our family, friends and community.  Sorry if this is harsh, but I know you can do this! 😉
  2. Devastation Happens Quickly, Be Prepared:  The stock market crash occurred in October, 1929.  By 1932, a year and a half later, 15
    Children worked to help to provide for their family.
    Children worked to help to provide for their family. [image source: pinimg.com]
    million workers lost their jobs and were unable to find other work.  Our economy is now a world economy.  Any crash will cause significant ripples not only in the USA , but worldwide.  It will happen much faster.  Be prepared.
  3. You Have No Control Over The Value Of The Dollar:  Invest in other assets or invest in
    Siblings often traded off with one another.
    Siblings often traded off with one another. While one sibling worked, the other went to school, then you would trade. Those less fortunate, would all have to work and may only have had an elementary education.  But, they had each other. [image source: pinimg.com]
    yourself and build on your set of skills.
  4. Have A Plan For Tough Times:  Knowing what you will do when income isn’t coming in they way you expect helps to decrease stress and eases you through a difficult transition.  What type of work will always be needed, regardless of the circumstances?
  5. A Positive Attitude Sets You Free:  My great-grandparents were adults and my grandparents were children when they went through the
    Families pulled together and did what was necessary to survive.
    Families pulled together and did what was necessary to survive. [image source: pinimg.com]
    Great Depression.  One set of great-grandparents had a positive state of mind, while the other set did not.  While both sets of great-grandparents suffered devastating losses, the set that remained positive didn’t agonize over these losses.  They were much better off.
  6. You Do Not Need As Much
    During the Depression, children often attended a one-room school house, with one teacher teaching eight grade levels.
    During the Depression, children often attended a one-room school house, with one teacher teaching eight grade levels. [image source: nps.gov]
    As You Think You Do:  You can get by on far less.  Allow this to become your mantra, “Do I need this?”
    Sharecropping During the Depression
    Sharecropping During the Depression [image source: southerneconomyreconstructionand.weebly.com]
  7. Go Local ~ Family, Friends & Community:  The more self reliant your family, friends and community are, the less the effects will be felt.
  8. Become Resourceful ~ Adapt & Diversify:  See if you can re-purpose that or maybe you can create value out of that resource.  Thinking outside of the box will help you immensely.
  9. Skills Are More Valuable Than Things:  Many jobs disappeared during the Great Depression and many worldly possessions were, ahhh  repossessed.  If you have a large skill set, you can better adapt to the times, and no one can take those skills away from you.
  10. Become a Do It Yourself ~ er:  Learn basic plumbing, carpentry and electrical skills, baking, cooking, herbal medicine, sewing and knitting skills.  The next time you need to fix something, do not make a call or an appointment.  Fix it yourself.
  11. Produce Your Own Food:  Think about where your food comes from right now and then think of ways to provide that food yourself.  Have a garden, raise quail, chickens or rabbits.  Practice these skills now.
  12. Waste Not, Want Not:  Reduce, reuse and recycle.  Before this phrase became a popular saying, our parents, grandparents and great-parents believed and lived the proverb, “Waste Not, Want Not”.  My wonderful grandparents always had several toasters and lamps in their basement, they saved plastic bags and twist ties, saved wrapping paper, collected pan drippings (fat) in a can and many other things were re-purposed and saved.  Depression-raised children wore flour sack clothing; fabric re-purposed from flour sacks.  Think on that a moment and then re-purpose something today.

31 thoughts on “12 Life Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

  1. Love this post. This is exactly what our family is striving for. We were victims of the downturn of oil and gas in Alberta in 2015, and while my husband was lucky enough to find another position out of thousands of unemployed peers, we started then and there changing our lifestyle, eventually moving back to our home province 1300km away to raise our family in a much more sustainable and minimalist lifestyle.
    – Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Equality 333

    Well written. It appears we are very close to the collapse. I would reiterate the local community for sure this is critical. When things collapse there will undauntedly be those who will steal, a strong local community is the only protection from this!
    Also find a safe place to reside as houses will be a target, I have a few places identify on a escape route to wilderness. It will be very difficult without funds and experience so practising wild camping I would recommend. Not having a garden but fields around in would take these over and grow, currently I an trying to grow in pots veg (not much success), to save seeds. Possibly a valuable commodity in this scenario.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more. One of the biggest challenges we face is the belief that we must rely on government, corporations and institutions to live.
    My father and mother went through the depression as young adults. They practiced a great number of these: They saved all sorts of things, were inventive and self reliant, had multiple, diverse skills…As children, we were taught all of these things, especially the mindset/attitude. It wasn’t just my parents; that girls would learn to cook, sew, knit, garden and preserve food and boys would learn to farm, hunt (some girls learned this as well) build, repair…was a predominant expectation in my community. Saving, diversifying, learning diy’s and doing isn’t all that hard; it’s how you think about it.


    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: 12 Life Lessons Learned From The Great Depression | The Way the World Ends

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  6. Pingback: 12 Life Lessons Learned From The Great Depression | Finding Richard at WordPress.com

  7. Self reliance seems to be going by the wayside with playing games in the streets or walking to the backfield by yourself. Great reminders here. Think I’ll have my wife teach me a few kitchen lessons. After all, man can’t live on Cheerios or instant oatmeal long term, can he?

    Liked by 4 people

  8. bnastowaway

    When my grandmother passed away, we found so much stuff hoarded away. Her family, like so many others, let had been unprepared for the depression and the trauma scarred her for life. This is a valuable article!

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Well written. I would add four suggestions:
    1. Be debt-free. Monetary debts are the chains that hold you in bondage to the consumer economy, society, and culture.
    2. Build community. Make and maintain friendships with your neighbors; share your bounty with them.
    3. Keep a journal. Written records help you remember which ideas worked and which failed.
    4. Enjoy life.

    Liked by 6 people

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