I very much enjoy reading the blog How Many Miles From Babylon (the blog is no longer at that link), which is authored by a man who calls himself Eleutheros (the word is Greek for ‘free man’). Eleutheros lives the life of agrarian simplicity in southern Appalachia, but this man is no simpleton.
In a recent essay about the current economic crisis and ‘Eleutheronomics,’ the reader feedback and ensuing discussion is as thought-provoking and enjoyable to read as the essay that prompted it.
For example, one reader asked this question:
Once in debt, how does one become free? Let’s take for example someone 18 years of age that graduated from HS and went to college running up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, then moves to a city to get a job and racks up a hundred thousand more to buy a house. All these things were what the parents of the person said was the wisest things to do.
The response from Eleutheros was, well, typical Elutheros...
If someone said, "I was foolish in handling my 12 ga. shotgun loaded with 00 and I accidentally shot off my right foot. What do I do?"
Answer: You limp through life with no right foot.
There are certain things you cannot easily undo. So if you followed the wisdom of people you trusted, that’s a pity. Turns out it was really bad advice. Sucks to be you.
But having said that, I’m very happy to walk along with people who are limping on one foot, no matter the reason for their demise.
If you’ve been foolish, don’t be foolish any more.
One’s philosophy should feel no constraint to accommodate every form of foolishness. I can describe to you how to mow a field with a scythe. It doesn’t follow that the description must also cover how to do it if you only have one foot.
To the person you describe I’d say, “Get out of debt.” It won’t be as easy on you as it is on someone who has never gone into debt, but people do it all the time.