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Ponder The Unthinkable Part 41 It's Survival (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans
I’ve been posting these segments here for many years now, since about 2013. I’d say that my words mostly fell on deaf ears, but that would pre-suppose ears (or eyes) being here in the non-fiction area the first place. As a society, we have become feelings-first / post-analytical. Non-fiction has no appeal anymore. Unless it’s pap “self-help” or salacious dirt, facts are boring. Such is my burden, trying to shoulder adult responsibilities. Some will listen. Some will not.

My words may have “triggered” some with delicate sensibilities: My apologies. Facts sometimes do that. However, this year has proven me (and other “preppers” like me) more correct than not. I am not here to gloat. However, I would like to remind our dear readers and writers that history is not over yet. The safety briefing prior to an airline flight is often boring, and ignored by many. But planes sometimes do crash. As do societies. Ignore those realities at your personal peril.

First, let’s recap the “crazy” thoughts that I espoused previously. The idea that everyone should have a few weeks worth of extra food and supplies on hand? I’m often told that “preppers” are just perpetually scared and filled with irrational fear. Guess who wasn’t scared of going hungry over the last six months? Or 26 years? My family. I suppose that some folks are adrenaline junkies, and like to live life on the edge. That’s fine for 19 year olds. But at some point, people just need to grow up. Tie your own shoes, and feed yourself. And your kids.

Who knows what an “emergency fund” is? That’s just something Mormons do, right? Like tithing? Wrong. The only reason that we’re having this debate regarding “stimulus checks” is that our society simply doesn’t know how to save, or live within it’s means. For example, all over our nation, our infrastructure is crumbling. Local governments just kept kicking the can down the road. Even cities like Seattle, which ran budget surpluses, depleted their “rainy day” funds and spent like crazy on social programs while the local bridges were literally falling apart. Do we imitate government, or does government reflect our warped priorities? Either way it’s all fine: The Federal Government will bail everyone out.

Our kids, and grandkids, will be left paying this bill. Including the trillions in deficit spending on this “stimulus”. It’s ironic how many talk about “saving the planet” through personal and local efforts, yet defer saving our economy (and our childern's future) to politicians in The Capitol. You can, and should do something on a personal level. Save some money, and don’t expect others to pay your bills when times get tough.

Guns? Get trained, and get armed, in that order. Oooops! Some people forgot that first part. Everyone should be able to defend themselves, and their families. Especially now, since it looks like we’ll be sending counselors instead of police officers into volatile situations. But instead of taking the time to choose the right firearm, and train with that firearm, a whole bunch of folks just panic-bought handguns. Funny. Handguns are used in way more crime than long guns, yet still ideologues talk about banning “military rifles”. Do they own a pistol, or does their security detail? Just “certain people” should pack, right?

But I digress. You should be able to defend your household (and business) with any legally purchased firearm. And the time to be prepared to do that is before rioters start lighting your community on fire. People arriving late to the party and panicking… *facepalm*. My household has plenty ammo, and everyone is trained. You don’t do those things DURING an emergency.

The most important recent societal fail was the overall inability for people to maintain a proper mental attitude. Instead of taking care of ourselves and working together, the default mode for most was fear and panic. Pleading for help, then blaming others. Politicians lead the way, and the sheeple followed. My kids stopped pleading and blaming when they were ten. Why do so many adults?

I lost my wife during this pandemic. It was unexpected, and it was no one's fault. The emotional toll on me and the kids has been staggering. Yet throughout this, we were never scared. Being “preppers” made a horrible situation tolerable. You cannot fully prepare for the emotional impact events bring, but you can prepare for all the ancillary bullshit. Including the economic fallout.

My wife recently raised her life insurance benefit. With that payout, I paid off the mortgage on our house, so the kids and I could afford to keep living there. When I talk about “prepping”, it isn’t about zombies. It’s about living. About being an adult, and making adult decisions. There’s a reason most governments are derisively called The Nanny State: It’s because so many of it’s citizens act like needy children. And the government obliges. All it asks for is your freedom.

At no time during the grieving process did I worry about money. I’ve been a blue-collar worker my entire life, but that never stopped us from living well. Including buying just a little peace of mind. The whole money thing is a topic for another day. Actually, I cover a bit of that in Ponder The Unthinkable, Part 24 (02/2016).

Let’s just say that my kids will never have to worry about having a roof over their heads, nor having a full belly, even after the loss of their mother. Nor will they have to worry about any ad-hoc group of rioters taking away what is ours. Does any of this sound like “prepping” to you? Well, that’s why I prefer the term Survivalist.

If (God forbid) I die tomorrow, my children will survive. Not only will they survive, they will have the skills and resources to continue living. Living without fear, nor dependency. My wife and I taught them a lot of basic stuff, like how to garden. We still left them plenty of room for them to make their own mistakes, but my wife and I provided our kids with a safety net. Not a trampoline or a hammock.

They may, or may not, teach their kids the skills that we taught them. Life is learning. Some things people must learn on their own. I warned my daughter not to incur a bunch of college debt, and now she’s paying that all off. Next semester she’ll be attending the local community college, just like I suggested a few years ago. I’ll continue to take care of both of them as long as I live, and encourage them to take care of whatever mistakes they make.

My kids and I understand the other elements of survival as well. We all stay physically active: Biking, hiking, kayaking etc. Being physically fit helps with overall wellness. But from time-to-time, anyone may need to consult an expert. Our family has a history of depression, and my daughter is seeing a counselor. Being tough also means being smart, and knowing when to ask for help. And, knowing when “help” is holding you back.

Another practical aspect of Survivalisim is seeing the potential in others, and developing that potential for the benefit of all. My daughter’s boyfriend had a pretty rough upbringing, including neglect. But he’s smart, eager to learn and has a good heart. The kid is pale and skinny, not very physically imposing. But he is strong. My wife and I taught our kids to be good judges of character. You can’t put a price on that.

Which comes to the elephant in the room: The whiny “I can’t afford to survive” bullshit. Everything I’ve been talking about isn't money-centric. It’s about discipline, vision and patience. If you’re like most folks today, you see your future as something that is dictated by others, something that you don’t control. If that’s your mindset, that’s a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Our family is not as atypical as you might think. Folks with our values just don’t make news in the lamestream media. We take care of business, work, pay our bills and prepare for our futures. The government and it’s surrogates keep telling you that you can’t make it on your own. That is a lie. You don’t need THEM. You need to believe in yourself.

My wife has survived. She lives in our hearts, and the hearts of everyone she has touched. She was confident, often times when she shouldn’t have been. But confidence inspires confidence. And now our kids will take that self-reliance, and use that skill the rest of their lives.

You can’t control what idiots in your state and national capitols do. You can have the false feeling of control by breaking or burning stuff, or the pantomime that your politician will “fix stuff” in your favor. But in your heart, you know what you can control. If you try. It’s just unfortunate that so many decline to take that personal control, in exchange for the illusion of external comfort and security.

If I die tomorrow, it will be after a life well lived. I did not burden others, but rather left my world just a little better. Not better through great acts or accomplishments, but by encouraging others to make their worlds better. Not encouraging unachievable lofty bullshit (like ‘saving a planet’), but attempting concrete, doable “good”.

I’d just like to ask one thing: Check your bias. Prepping / Survivalisim is NOT selfish. Strong individuals and families make strong communities. Strong communities make a better nation. Whereas, powerful nation-states make for weak communities, broken families and subservient individuals. How is wanting a better life for everyone “selfish”?

Besides, if I was selfish, I would have already checked-out to be with my beloved wife. But my kids need me. My community needs me. I know this, because I know that I have self-worth. I just wish I could convince more people that they are strong, and have worth too.

But our culture has indoctrinated the populace that every aspect of their lives is broken: You need a certain education, a specific job, house, car, medicine, social “likes” and a politician to “save you”. Rubbish. You need YOU. Others need you. The political / media / industrial complex needs you too… to be their slave. Resist.

I am tired. I have a lot to do to prepare for the next stage of my life. Writing may be part of it, but in today’s snowflake “cancel culture”, there’s no room for straight shooters anymore. Christ, I have to worry if using all-caps may trigger someone. But that is part of the plan. Let a Hundred Flowers Bloom, so long as they are all red.

I suppose I’m done trying to talk people into taking care of themselves. There’s a lot of water for the horses, but I think I’m through leading them. They’ll eventually have to learn to drink on their own.
I will survive. My children will survive. Cynthia survives in us. Life will go on. But I am tired. So very, very tired.



Staff member
Global Moderator

This is a beautifully written and very moving piece. I am truly sorry for your loss.

What moves me the most about your story is your determination to provide for your family and to teach your children to provide for themselves. There is no greater gift you can give to your children, then to give them the skill-set to be independent. I think that is your job as a parent, but lately I feel that I am alone in this belief, so I was grateful to read your piece. It gave me hope.

I especially like the part about not providing either a trampoline or a hammock. It describes perfectly the perils of pushing your kids too hard or hanging on too tight. Two mistakes I see made by many parents around me.

And remember, it’s natural for you to be tired during this time. Rest and take care.

Thank you for this read.