Thursday, December 01, 2011

How to Persuade Others to Prepare Now, Avoiding Ruination

A majority of the U.S. population understands that a global depression is in process. Yet so many seem not to understand the practical basics of what it is they can do to enhance their ability to pull their household through and survive the chaos and despair that is on the horizon.

Fortunately, millions have seen the cautionary signposts for years. Really, none of what is happening economically, culturally, or geopolitically should be a shock to anyone. After all, so many have taken productive steps to prepare for this or a similar catastrophic event to ensure at least a chance at providing for the needs of loved ones through very difficult times.

If there has been a surprise registered among these observers, it is that the whole process of collapse has been such a gradual, plodding progression—not to be deterred. Many envisioned disaster that would come instantly, perhaps overnight--with a clearly recognizable sign from the heavens signaling it's time to pack up the moped, head for the hills, and never look back. The apocryphal all-out nuclear exchange that decimates the civilized world in minutes is what some doomers had in mind … or in the event of an economic collapse scenario, a financial implosion distinguishable by a hailstorm of stockbrokers leaping from tall towers and pitchfork-wielding peasants storming all the banks and convenience stores for their final entitlements.


But historians tell us that even in the Great Depression of 1929 (and beyond), folks didn't understand it for what it was until they were maybe midway through it. That is, years into the debacle ... one day perhaps realizing, “Hey, boiling up shoe-leather soup is not what we used to call normal dinner-table fare ... when did this happen?”

Fact is, it is a blessing that today’s slow-developing period of pre-ruination allows for so many more folks out there to urgently lay in supplies and gear for the long, cold nights ahead. The more of us prepared for mass shortages and suffering, the better off we all will be. So this is the hand we have been dealt—a last great opportunity to encourage those around us to prepare.



Oozing Persuasive Wisdom

Through the years, one almost-universal complaint I heard from fellow preparedness activists was that they were often unable to convince even those nearest and dearest to them that crisis readiness is important. After all, for many who sailed smoothly through the calm seas of the American Dream, there was the conventional perspective that only kooks and "racist survivalists" prepared for a disaster that would probably never come. It was a view that was cultivated in the public mind by the corporate-driven media for decades. So in spite of the obvious common sense inherent in a balanced approach to life and being prepared for rainy days, there was a wall that needed to be breeched for some folks to recognize the full breadth of reality’s highs and lows.

Indeed it was a tough sell. Discouragement in getting the message across to a spouse, siblings, buddies, or coworkers was a common woe. The spouse factor alone was seemingly insurmountable for some.

Those who were more successful in sharing the pursuit of preparedness were usually those who had the aura of satisfaction and confidence.

How-To Get “the Aura”

This won't work for everyone, but in my personal, extensive experience, this is your best bet. I've been involved in preparedness of various kinds, professionally as well as personally for decades, and with time, you learn that there IS a way to at least get folks to listen to what you have to say.

Anytime you are first bringing up the issue of preparedness with someone (and perhaps EVERY time you discuss it) ...

1.
Lose the emotion. Fear, anger, paranoia ... those are the emotions and "danger signs" many people out there would be turned off by and probably alarmed about. Show it and the cause is already lost.

Be patient, wait for the right clue to bring it up … then take a calm, uncommitted, intelligent tack in which you almost casually relate the view that crisis preparedness is common sense. Be dispassionate, non-threatening ... that's how you need to bring the issue forward. If there is no sign of your companion being in the least bit receptive, drop it. Maybe the next opportunity that arises will be different. Just don't make it an obvious priority in your interactions with the person.

2.
No target-lock on any one threat. This is a big problem for many. It's easy not only to inadvertently zero in on one big threat of the hour when talking about crisis preparedness, it's just as easy to allow it to become all-consuming in one's own actual approach to preparedness. When raising the issue of preparedness, be knowledgeable, but not necessarily "expert." Talk about crises in general if appropriate, unless your friend is needing to talk over an issue that is bothering them today (i.e., the economic collapse today is a likely topic).
Most important, talk more about solutions, not so much about difficulties. Trying to scare someone into seeing things your way never really hits the mark.

3.
Don't play oracle, proclaiming THE END.
Want to be seen as a crank? Set a deadline and start telling folks that you know something ominous they don't. Throughout history, dates of doom have come and gone as have their promoters. Even if you see some risk ahead, keep it to yourself until it becomes painfully obvious to even the most obtuse.

4.
Don't talk about TEOTWAWKI.
See #3. "The End Of The World As We Know It" became a common acronym circa the Y2K computer-scare era. Of course, it is also widely applied to post nuclear-war exchanges, and so on. What most people know in their heart is that life goes on. And that change is inevitable and continuous. To try to counter either of those axioms is to ask to be pigeon-holed into a niche where few can be taken seriously.

5.
Eventually drop the mystery about your own preparedness efforts. Today, more and more people are openly into preparedness, particularly with others who are of like mind. The preparedness market niche in business is practically mainstream at this point. Of course this runs counter to the tendency many have to protect access to and knowledge of their preparedness resources. But to encourage someone else to embark upon a personal campaign toward greater readiness by being more open about your own efforts, is a powerful way to go about it. When it comes down to it, folks are more easily inspired by demonstrated actions over hollow words. Use common sense deciding when it might actually prove to be wise to take this path with someone and to what extent.
If more folks were forthcoming about their own preparedness efforts, then the public impression that normal people don't do this would be immediately laid to rest.

6.
If you are trying to “build your case,” limit the reference points you share to sources in the "alternative media."
There are a lot of very enthusiastic parties out there focusing on specific, preparedness-related issues. They may be off the beaten path and all have their own adherents and do often contribute in their way to crisis readiness in the general population. However, before you refer fence-sitting preparedness prospects to a website or to a book of interest, etc., be sure you consider the kind of first impression they will likely have, given all aspects of that reference work and ALL the content and themes being projected there.
Vic Rantala is owner of Safecastle LLC, crisis preparedness provider.  Emergency storage food such as Mountain House freeze dried foods, Safecastle steel-plate shelters and saferooms, and other unique survival gear solutions are available at www.safecastle.com

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