Among other things, we have a cultural and religious issue here. When I studied aikido as a young man, every time we stepped into the dojo, we bowed twice, from the floor. The first time was to a picture of the O-sensei, who put the art together; the picture was on an altar at the front of the dojo. The second time, it was to the mat.
I could understand bowing to the O-sensei; he was as much philosopher and saint as he was warrior, but the mat?
One of the senior students explained it succinctly: "We bow to the mat that keeps us from breaking our backs," is what she said.
But it was more complex that even that. It epitomized a mind-view that has some uniquely buddhist elements that you can see in the study of aikido and many other of the Japanese martial arts. It suggests that there is a web of obligations that you owe those about you and the art itself that you can only repay by a constant return of right actions. When training, you are respectful of your partner. Your partner is not your enemy, he or she is your helper in the learning process, and you want to help preserve them so they will be there to practice with you tomorrow.
In this regard, to think about self reliance in life is a childlike illusion. You do not know how to do proper leading of incoming force. You do not understand one-pointedness or Ki. You depend not only on your sensei to show you and guide you, but on your fellow students to throw you so you can practice falling.
Gradually it dawns on you that this particular martial art is not the only this like this.
Is there something wrong with being self-reliant?
That would have to depend on how you view self-reliance, and what relationship you believe that puts you in with others, wouldn't it? Some kinds of self-reliance are enormously destructive to others and can and often do provoke retaliation. Predatory Capitalism can fall into this category.
I offer, as examples, two similar situations a hundred years apart without going into a lot of detail. The predation began with profit motive in mind and became political in both cases. In the first case, the British wanted a market for opium and forced a market open in China, starting the opium wars to help out the East India Company. Today, the various drug cartels are vying for market share in the US. These cartels are models of Predatory Capitalism, which have formed to fill the need of an artificially created market. They are examples of self-reliance run amok.
They are examples of what happens when one player in a system forgets that he or she is only a member of a self-regulating system. The system tends to self-correct when everything is functioning well. That's when everything is going well.
Somebody else will have to write the chapter on chaos theory.
In the meantime, now that you folks have yours, what about the people that used to have theirs in the middle class, and now, acting as self-reliantly as they could and through no particular fault of their own, don't. What would the self-reliant thing be for them to do to you?
Or do you have different models for how you are supposed to act self-reliantly in relation to others and for how others are supposed to act self-reliantly in relation to you? If the wealthy can get welfare from the poor at least as far back as the railroads getting enormous land-grants on either sides of their free rights of way across the West and currently in terms of tax cuts and other goodies, why shouldn't the poor get them from the pockets of the rich as well? Why is one Okay and the other not?
Self-reliance, my Grandfather's popsicle franchise.