REFUGE BY SAFECASTLE: Is Preparedness a Selfish Pursuit? Or a Civilized Duty?

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

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Is Preparedness a Selfish Pursuit? Or a Civilized Duty?

Why do we prepare for potential trouble? Of course many of us feel a pull ... the survival instinct ... to squirrel away a cache of material for down times.

Beyond such an obvious answer, however--if we scratch away at the surface of that explanation, one can start to wonder about deeper motivations, rationale, and the "best-laid plans of mice and men."

I have to admit, it's bothersome to me when so many buy into the myth that self-preservation requires a cut-throat, kill or be killed mentality. You know what I mean ... "The sheeple are headed to slaughter anyway, I can't be concerned with them."

Many Shapes and Shades of Preparedness

In this business, I run across a lot of different types of "survivalists." I know more than a few hard-core cadre types who relish the thought of building a self-styled regimented response to a major crisis. There's an element of fantasy-camp-itis in that approach to preparedness, but in the end, these folks are what they are, and there's no mistaking it. Whether they would end up doing a chaotic society harm or service is a toss-up. At least they believe they know what must be done and why.

Less clear is the quality or quantity of plans that "regular folks" who prepare have in store.

Got Stuff, World's Gone to Hell, Now What?

Some of us don't know ourselves very well. Fact is, philosophical (or moral/spiritual) positioning that dictates personal crisis response is already embedded in each of us. If we ever face the day when we MUST choose between self-serving behaviors and sacrificial community service, our responses are likely already resident in our soft liquid centers.

Is that to say, we cannot remold or at least solidify our tendencies before crunch time?

Regardless of who you are and what your make-up is, or what your ultimate response will be in the darkest of hours, one of your greatest enemies will be confusion and indecision. In other words, know thyself now. Get it figured out and when the hammer falls, you may have an easier time of it, not having to wrestle with those big issues as they stampede through your life.

For what it's worth, I do strongly encourage community responsibility. Unfortunately, only a few in a greater population actually do much in the way of preparing for lean years. None of us can actually afford to prepare to support many more than our own household. Still, let's face it--in most crises, we will perhaps be in a unique position to help someone in dire need. Lives may be placed in our hands. What will you do?

Social scientists and historians are among those who would tell you that there are far greater concerns--the greater good--that supercede the needs of individuals. History records the progress and victories cultivated out of heroic sacrifice. True perspective is that nothing is reaped from fallow fields.

Get Ready, Seriously ...

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