They lack self-confidence, independence of judgment and action. Success is the sweetest when earned with one’s own sweat, labour, perseverance and resources. Fruits of success wouldn’t taste as sweet if achieved with the help of others. One can never run fast with crutches. Dependence on others is like working with crutches. The lesson of self-reliance is one that all young men and women should learn and imbibe if they want to succeed in life. It never means that he or she should not take into consideration the advice and counsel of their friends, well- wishers and elders. Self-help also never means not learning from the experiences of others. It only means that one should not depend on these nor should they be ever expected. One may accept co-operation, and guidance, etc. when willingly offered but, “God helps those who help themselves” should always be their guiding principle and light.
It is with determination and self-reliance that all hurdles can be removed one by one. There is no substitute for hard work and toil. Therefore, never hesitate to soil your hands, to shed your sweat and to depend on your strength.
Be your own guide, lamp, staff and help and never crave for favour if you desire to achieve a respectable measure of success. Heaven and hell, victory and defeat lie within you. It is up to you what you choose. You are the maker and master of your destiny. Never think it is decided and governed by any force outside you. Self-reliant people are always optimistic, cheerful, positive thinkers, decisive, free, independent, reliable, and courageous and people of character and destiny.
They are rich in expediency, quick action and steadfast in resolve. They never blame fate, circumstances, or lack of opportunities because they can create opportunities and make their own tools and use them with all the skill, strength, precision and concentration at their command. Their work, creation, achievement, and success all bear the stamp of their personality, character and authority. They are the real heroes and the chosen ones. They are original in ideas and imagination in shaping things and events. They achieve what they do because they are self-reliant, resolute, single-minded and-self-disciplined. They know their strengths and weaknesses and use their power, energies, resources, skills and capabilities in such a way as to never to show a chink in their armor.
All great and successful people have been self-reliant. They led their people and achieved what they had set their minds on. For example, take the case of countries depending on foreign aid. These countries are always slaves and in a debt- trap. They cannot take independent decisions and shape their foreign policies without taking into consideration the interests of their debtor-masters. They receive economic aid but there are always strings attached to it.
It is your own industry, wisdom and perseverance that can take you to the top. Many times, it has been found that helps or over help actually spoiled the career of many a promising young man and woman. Spoon-feeding is undesirable. It is said of Michelangelo that he devoted 16 hours every day to the study and practice of his art. He often rose at midnight to continue the labour of the day, and the light by which he worked and handled his tools, came from a bit of a candle fixed to the top of his cap of paste-board.
Gandhiji has been a great and living example of self- reliance and self-help. He always depended on his own inner strength, moral power and character. It was because of his unmatched power of self-reliance that he could lead such a huge nation like India and defeat such a powerful adversary as the Britishers, and that too without any bloodshed, violence or armed struggle. Though frail body his self-confidence, born-out of his spirit of self-reliance, was unique and wonderful. The strength of his moral character, self-reliance and self- dependence has few parallels in human history. Napoleon said that the word ‘impossible’ was found in the dictionary of fools. And he was right. A self-reliant person is always wise, practical and sure, nothing is impossible for him. There is no substitute for self-reliance; no external help can replace it.
Beggars cannot be choosers. But a self-reliant person’s selection, decision and determination always prevail; he is a chooser and selector for he is not a beggar. Self-reliance brings out the best in men and women, while dependence on others weakens our will power, resolve, judgment and striking power. The odds and unfavorable circumstances work like a healthy challenge and inspiration to a self-reliant person. Sufferings refine our sensibilities; sweet are the uses of adversity, and struggle and strife make us strong and tolerant. Self-reliance and power to overcome odds are two aspects of the same coin. Unfavorable circumstances, odds, and difficulties, etc., test our courage, strength, character and self-reliance.
The path of self-reliance is strewn with thorns, stones and traps but at the end there are flowers of success, glory, prosperity and fame. Let us not lose heart when beset by difficulties, or oppressed with failure, for these things are designed to stimulate us to higher and purer effort, and to teach us the great and glorious lesson of self-reliance. Undoubtedly, self- reliance is a pilgrim’s best staff, a worker’s best tool, and a soldier’s best weapon. Therefore, be a self-helper.