You know, as I sit down to write my 500th article about preparedness, I stop and look at the recent entries and realize that it’s been a LONG time since I got back to the beginning, to the core of the most basic foundation of self-reliance. So I’ve decided to do just that today—reveal what I believe is preparedness at its core.
To me preparedness is not about storing lots of food, ammo, or creating a 72 hour kit. Those are simply activities that in which someone might be engaged as a result of their convictions of preparedness.
Some might be surprised to hear that my idea of preparedness doesn’t even acknowledge the word “emergency.” Instead, I look at preparedness as a state of independence and effort to be independent of providing for myself, my family, and those others I love in the event we’re in the path of one of Life’s Curveballs.
As we watched the television news broadcasts flash pictures of the wretched devastation that the tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused in foreign lands, I’m certain that many of us felt deeply for the loss of the families which remained. But ultimately, most of us had the luxury of carrying on with our regular routine without an interruption. I believe this is part of the reason why those who live by the term “emergency preparedness” are mostly unsuccessful in getting their message across. Most of us relate to emergencies as what happens to other people. But when we find ourselves watching the months and then the years go by without finding gainful employment after unexpectedly being ousted from a job of 20 years, the feelings of despair color our lives in a very real sense; yet would anyone call this scenario an “emergency?” As the victims of corporate tom-foolery, the unemployed person may find himself numbingly working his way through the third garage sale in a month, ridding himself of all that he’s held dear just to keep a roof over his family's head and food on the table, does anyone label this mournful moment an “emergency?” And yet, these are the very type of real-life circumstances for which I believe we should all try to be prepared. Independence is the key—not preparing for some disconnected state of “emergency.”
Independence—being able to rely on one’s own resources rather than grovel at the mercy and circumstances of others. Crowding in all around us is a litany of vulnerabilities. In response, many of us seem to keep our heads down and simply hope that the world isn’t too awful to us; as if hoping makes it so; as if The World is a respecter of persons and has it’s own will as to who to pick on and who to let be.
Perhaps it’s a mental or emotional coping system that causes us to hope that honor will direct the actions of the persons who are responsible for stabilizing our nation’s currency. After all, we don’t have the time or education to make sure they do their jobs, right? Likewise, do we not somewhat blindly rely on our employers to wisely spend, invest, and direct the company for which we work so that we can meet our own financial obligations? We trust that justice will be served in the court systems. We complacently expect the value of our home to keep pace with the rising prices so that we can relocate if need be. We would rarely think to second-guess the emergency room doctor’s care—it’s just got to be accurate. We are at the mercy of the faithful preparations our nation’s military has undergone that we might be protected from enemies, foreign and domestic. We expect privacy and security in our homes and the lives of our family. We expect that when we call 9-1-1 knowledgeable help will arrive in time. We trust the prescription we have been given is accurate and not harmful to our body. And we trust that the food we purchase from the store is of reasonable quality at a reasonable cost. And yet in all of these instances are we not truly vulnerable?
Heart disease and cancer are no longer the most common killers of this nation; medical malpractice is.
There have been several landmark rulings in the U.S. just in the past two years in which law enforcement officers were found not-guilty of any wrongdoing when they simply sat back and played the role of a spectator as a violent crime was committed.
We’ve seen firsthand that the sun doesn’t always shine like we need it, and the heavens don’t always open as we need them in order for abundant and healthy crops to grow.
How many of us have had our financial security compromised because someone in authority paid little or no regard to the sanctity of our privacy and safety?
Have we not seen that even the most rehearsed and seasoned of aid-workers are no match for the wrath of Mother Nature or a determined enemy of our nation?
It’s nearly impossible to find a person who doesn’t at least know of another person who lost a substantial amount of their retirement savings due to the derelict actions of those “in charge.”
Ask any parent who’s witnessed their child suffer inexplicably as the result of an “approved vaccination” or an errant prescription whether they will remain silent and apathetic with the advice of medical officials again?
Even our nation’s military is not beyond reproach; periodically manifesting that despite best efforts, some will fail to uphold their honor and remain true to their responsibility.
While it may seem daunting to even begin to think of how one can protect him or herself from all of these vulnerabilities, experience has taught me that there is much that an individual can do to ensure they always have a “Plan B.” While I believe that each of these instances might give cause for fear and concern in some, I have to say that to me they are teaching moments. They teach me where I may be too complacent, or too naïve in my expectations of organizations and even humans with the best of intentions. As such they indicate to me that there is room for my proactive self-reliant approach to help ensure that no guilt, regret, “shoulda, woulda, shoulda” clouds my life. As such, it’s my intent to prepare for the worst as best that I can—now, in a time of relative comfort and peace—and pray for the best.
What lies around the corner that has the potential to threaten the solidarity of our family? Quite a bit, I believe. But I’m determined to face it head on; analyze it and determine what my best counter-move might be. The person who desires to deal the hand right back at fate as good as they got, rather than just taking what comes, is the person I believe is truly prepared.
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