Eighth Pillar – Self – reliance
Mockery and sarcasm cannot pierce the strong armour of the self-reliant person. These are beaches that no invading force can land on for the self-reliant person is unreachable by comments without merit. The sharp arrows of insincerity may rain upon them but they will just laugh as the arrows are deflected by the armour of self-confidence and fall harmlessly around them.
Those that desire to be great must endure the test of strength; they must not be shamed from their position by the thoughts of others. They must not fear for their reputation or position. They must learn to be able to act and live independently of those considerations. When someone has endured this test, and slander and discouragement have failed to move or hurt them, they have become the self-reliant person one that society will have to reckon with, and finally, accept on their own terms.
The essentials and principles of self-reliance are self-worth, purity, sincerity, character, truth and strong morals and whatever may be lost is of little account for these are never lost.
The self-reliant have nothing to hide, and are willing to learn; there can be no humility where pride is, self-reliance and humility are complementary and the superior form of self-reliance is accompanied by the upmost humility.
‘Those who, either now or after I am dead, shall be a lamp unto themselves, relying upon themselves only and not relying upon any external help, but holding fast to the truth as their lamp, and seeking their salvation in the truth alone, shall not look for assistance to any one besides themselves, it is they, among my disciples, who shall reach the very topmost height! But they must be willing to learn’ – Buddha
This is a wise quote on self-reliance, with a repeated insistence on the necessity for relying upon oneself only, coupled with the willingness and eagerness to learn. This highlights the perfect balance between self-trust and humility which the person of truth must acquire. (Self can also be a team or group but only when in harmony).
If we rely upon the light of another, darkness will overtake us, but if we rely upon our own light, then we only have to keep it burning. We may both draw light from another and communicate it, but to think it is sufficient while our own lamp is rusting in neglect, is to soonly find ourselves abandoned in darkness. Our own inner light is the light which never fails.
A trouble most people face is a mistrust of themselves, so they are always seeking others to put their trust in. And so the self-trusting person has become a rare sight, a star.
There is not an area in life where a persons influence and prosperity will not be considerably increased by a measure of self-reliance and to the teacher, organiser, manager and in all positions of control and command, it is an indispensable quality.
The four grand qualities of self-reliance are: