There are two ways to sleep well at night ... be ignorant or be prepared.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Undeserved Malice

Being prepared for any eventuality is really just common sense, don't you think?

Most people will likely agree with the statement, "I want to be ready for whatever tomorrow might bring and not be caught in a situation where I have to struggle because I failed to anticipate developments."

In many ways, smart folks (and effective organizations and entities) try to stay ahead of the curve. It's never a good thing to be caught with your pants down, so keeping an eye out for visitations of circumstance outside of the routine is, or ought to be, S.O.P. Yes, in many senses of the word, "preparedness" is just part of life, and the way to conduct business as well.

So it can be a bit puzzling to try to understand how America has gotten to the point of stigmatizing people who take disaster preparedness to heart. Certainly, disasters are not obsolete, restricted to the history books. And I don't get the sense that Uncle Sam really wants people to put all their trust and hope in big government to take care of 100% of everyone's needs when the worst comes to pass. Reality is that they simply can't do it all even if they have to indeed try to do a great deal in large-scale recovery operations.

My feeling is that we are dealing with a public relations issue, and unfortunately we have no PR or lobbying firms working to restore this common-sense trait to a level of popular respect and acceptance in America. It was back in the '80s when "survivalism" became a dirty word. It was the beginning of the P.C. (politically correct) movement, and the media seized on a few cases of small, racially intolerant groups retreating to their backwoods fiefdoms, storing up guns, ammo, and supplies for the coming race wars they were counting on to "cleanse" the nation.

Suddenly, not only was the backwoods survivalist approach demonized in the popular media (and thereby innoculating the entire culture against its evils), but by association, so was anyone else who was crazy enough to want to put up any kind of stores for future needs (now commonly mislabeled as hoarding).

Funny how that works, huh? It is certainly a good lesson in the power that the media wields. Still, I have to believe that most folks today are more aware and less vulnerable than they were 20-25 years ago to the power of media suggestion.


But that initial stigma against even common-sense prudence remains ingrained.


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