For the next book I hope to write, I've conducted a personal "dependency audit" to determine how free I really am, and what I can do to become more self-sufficient. This is my starting point for exploring the gap between the degree of freedom many people claim we ought to enjoy, and the dependency on systems, institutions and govenrment that is closer to the norm. It's an ongoing project and I don't know all the answers yet, but that, of course, is the point of researching the book. Meanwhile, here's my dependency audit:
For anybody who'd like to conduct their own dependency audit, here's a downloadable spreadsheet with the same categories I used in my assessment:
You can change the categories, add your own or even change the way you measure dependency. Once you've filled it out, you may want to sort the categories by degree of dependency, to see the parts of your life in which you're most self-sufficient, and the parts where you rely heavily upon others. The first column, labeled "Original Order," lets you re-sort the categories after you've fiddled around with the spreadsheet, so you can return them to the same order you started out in.
I'm interested in what others might learn from conducting this exercise, so if you'd like to share insights, please email me at email@example.com.