We’re stronger together

I like to think of Earth Day more like Good-Humans-on-Earth Day because it seems like its our symbiotic relationship with Planet Earth that we’re really celebrating. So I thought I’d share something that I’ve noticed emerging from the wider community that shows how we’re becoming better humans by embracing diversity and sharing.

You might remember reading about Ryo’s hut in the mountains on Tiny House Blog last November. Let me recap that story… Ryo Chijiiwa bought 60 acres of raw land in a remote part of northern California where he began building a tiny 6′ by 8′ hut that will serve as a cozy place to stay while he’s living up on his land. His most recent trip was just a short visit but he plans on living there full-time during the warm months.

By day Ryo works in the computer world, is socially liberal, politically independent, and an avid supporter of Second Amendment rights. In other words he’s a free thinker that carefully considers all aspects without a lot of bias, but his conclusions don’t follow typical party/social lines.

A recent post on his blog, which included the video below, actually sparked a few concerned comments from readers who were responding to the part where he loads his shotgun before hiking up to check on his hut for the first time in four and a half months. He subsequently responded very eloquently in a follow-up post on the issue of guns.

(News From Serenity Valley, Episode 6: Return to Serenity Valley from Ryo Chijiiwa on Vimeo.)

This is not a pro-gun or anti-gun argument and guns are totally off my normal topic; but this event jumped out to me as an opportunity for me to share this observation on diversity and sharing.

Simple living and small houses seem to bring together a diverse group of people who all seem to share a few common values. I’m going to go out on a ledge a little, but I think these are things like the following… so please correct me if I’m wrong:

  • A desire to protect and increase freedom.
  • An ability to question the norm.
  • The insight to see that careful choices can help us achieve our goals faster, (like downsizing, living simply, and eliminating debt).
  • An interest in learning to solve our own problems and become more self-sufficient.
  • A passion for sharing information.

I think Ryo is an excellent example of the diversity I’ve seen growing rapidly across our community. I’m not saying we’re all like Ryo. I’m suggesting that tiny houses are emerging as an icon of freedom; and that the idea of living more sustainably is drawing people together who are passionate about freedom, and willing to put aside differences in order to benefit from the strength we gain through our diversity.

In other words we’re discovering that… we’re stronger together.

If you’d like to follow Ryo’s progress be sure to bookmark his blog, Laptop and a Rifle.

7 thoughts on “We’re stronger together

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Don’t get me wrong… this isn’t a pro-gun or anti-gun argument. There are lots of ways of protecting freedom and some people feel that involves guns.

      All I’m trying to say is that I respect other people’s well thought out positions and when they take the risk and go out on a ledge to share them with others.

    • Patrick says:

      As a member of the military I assure you that a gun is necessary to protect your freedom, it is always out of pure ignorance to how horrible the real world is that someone would think otherwise, I envy you.

      I suggest watching the video, then research how meth labs operate. This young man was being smart by packing a firearm.

      Would it have been more socially responsible to allow your self to be tortured and murdered by drug runners? A hard working young man who has no criminal history and is a good standing member of society should allow himself to be killed?

      If yes then I would be saddened to hear your stance on Darfur:O(

      • John Nicholson says:


        As a former member of the military, I will assure you that a gun is not necessary to protect your freedom. If any thing a single person with a gun is just dangerous for others nearby. It takes armies and navies to win wars. Our nation has become free enough that there is no fights for freedom with guns here on this continent. There is a fight in Mexico with the “Drug Wars” and Meth labs here, but these are more of a policing action than anything doing with freedom. Yes, an individual can take up arms against people who operate in these ways, but the dangers need to be weighed (like do they have friends and relatives which support them).

        You are not truly free as long as you have to carry a gun to protect your freedom. (If others – armies and navies – carry it for you, then you have freedom. But, the members of military also seek freedom from having to carry.)

        • Patrick says:

          Your understanding of meth labs and the exact location and size of the drug wars is lacking. I suggest a quick search on any mainstream media site will return surprising and frightening results.

          This is very real for anyone who lives in a rural area, and the availability or access to firearms a must, unless you have armed police escorts with you at all times? Not very off-grid if you do:O)

          Thank you for your service BTW.

  1. Michael Janzen says:

    The recent events in Iowa where people came together in a grass roots populist movement to stand up for their rights really illustrates what I’m trying to say with this post. For the record… this work in Iowa was NOT a Tea Party effort but a more old-school populist effort.

    We’re stronger together when we put down our petty differences and come together united behind our shared core values.

    So this isn’t an argument pro/against guns. We each need to make important decisions like that based on our own experiences.

    I think that the issue of guns is a good example of an issue that tends to divide us, and I’m trying to say I don’t think we should let it.

    I’m also not advocating any particular political or social position. Instead I’m suggesting we put those differences down and pick up the values we have in common and let those move us forward.

    I know this is all a little more philosophical than I usually get on Tiny House Design and a bit of a wobbly fence to stand on… but I hope these ramblings help make a little more sense of this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.