Most of us who have been around the preparedness movement for more than a couple of years have managed to escape the belief trap that TEOTWAWKI is a singular event that is about to befall us.
As an old intelligence-agency Cold Warrior, it's clear to me where that still very common doomsday outlook originated. That all-or-nothing, express-destruction thinking persists in popular culture.
After all, we have become creatures who prefer simple, straightforward soundbytes and executive summaries ... fast food, headline news, and no-sweat lawn care, not to mention telecommuting and all manners of instant gratification. That's life in the 21st century. Shouldn't universal death and incineration also be delivered "next-day, no signature required"?
We are talking of course about the Dr. Strangelove option--buttons being pushed across the globe, nuclear, biological, and chemical judgment uniformly bulldozing across what will become Earth's toxic gray wastelands.
Thing is, although we can't ever remove that bleak possibility from the palette of tomorrows, straight-thinking preppers today know our doom is in fact an ongoing work in progress ... a gradual, numbing process of political and social and economic transition, interspersed with occasional violent punctuation marks, both natural and manmade.
The truth that eventually dawns on you--preparedness quite simply means getting yourself squared away so that you cannot be dictated to by others or by circumstance as to what you must do next to survive. It's about creating options for your future. Its about being smart and not being herded into a box canyon.
The Good News
There is an obvious appeal to the idea that our ultimate doom could come overnight. You know--wake up and all the rules are changed. Or more to the point, all the rules are gone. You get to go "cowboy" or "Rambo" and remake your little corner of the world into whatever you want. Of course--that's a Hollywood imagining, but that's what many new survivalists have bought into.
If they stick with preparedness, eventually, they come around to realizing there's also a strong appeal to having time to adjust to and prepare for the unrelenting changing circumstances developing all around us.
Will there ever be a line in the sand you will cross that will delineate the sudden onset of major crisis? Maybe. But this much is a really good bet--whatever and wherever that line is, if it comes for you, is not going to be what you expect.
Thus, as the years and decades roll by, and you are systematically adjusting and preparing in increasingly generalized ways, you realize that true preparedness is about today's peace of mind. What will be tomorrow is probably not going to be a great deal different from what today is, but over time, you know you're probably going to be making the right moves since you are all the time working to give yourself future options.
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