Welcome back, and happy new year! In the interest of continuing the train of thought from my last post, trying to elucidate somewhat on the nature of my prepping, I’ll be quoting (quite a bit, but hopefully not too extensively) from a posting I encountered over on one of my other haunts, Daily Kos. I think the original author managed to nail a number of points I’ve been trying to make, in ways I haven’t yet been able to. So, without further ado, the quotes (and my comments):
Survivalism takes many forms. The most common form is the day-to-day survival in which we all engage, consciously or not. We set our homes and cars and offices up to maximize our comfort and survival. We carry tissues, keys, money, paper clips, lip balm, flash drives, cell phones, and other items we feel we might need. Those are pretty obvious. What’s not so obvious are the social skills we develop to survive.
These social skills are largely the once-ubiquitous, now apparently quaint practices I picked up at my parents’ knees, things I call “politeness.” They’re “please” and “thank you.” “May I” and “could you.” “Sir.” “Ma’am.” Even (gasp!) “let me get that for you.” Now, I’ll be the first to admit that there are times and places when politeness goes out the window–in crisis situations, I’m going to just try to get through it–but I still try to come back afterwards and make amends and/or smooth any ruffled feathers.
Survivalism isn’t a gung-ho, go-it-alone activity. We need others in order to truly survive and thrive. No one person can Rambo it – remember Rambo had script writers and prop makers and special sets and an entire crew of people making him look good. Without those other people doing all the the out-of-sight work, there would be no Rambo being the heroic survivalist. Nowhere in any Rambo movie did you see him making toilet paper, crafting his weapons, sewing clothes, cobbling shoes, or doing any of the real work of survival. He was a shoot-em-up pretty boy, and pretty useless except in very specific survival scenarios – ones we aren’t likely to encounter anywhere near as often as we encounter traffic accidents, clogged plumbing, blown transformers, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, missed deadlines at work, flu, falls, and so on.
Okay, in the first movie (First Blood–a decent movie, but I preferred the book), he *did* make a sort of poncho, if I recall correctly. And a spear made from his knife. But the main point is that his skills were best adapted to fighting behind enemy lines against a better-armed, more numerous opponent, in southeast Asia. The things we’re going to have to “survive” most often, particularly in a Long Collapse scenario here at home, are much more mundane. We may end up having to survive more and more of them, with greater and greater frequency, but there it is.
I am a survivalist. I prepare for the disasters I am likely to encounter: tornadoes, ice storms, snow, flat line winds, plumbing, wiring, auto emergencies (and flat tires, usually…), interactions with others as I drive and go about my daily business as well as family and friends. We help one another because we know we can depend on one another. Those are the critical activities that allow me to survive in comfort, with lots of fun and joy.
To equate true survivalism with Rambo-esque gamesmanship is a disservice to the real survivalists.
And there it is. I hope you’ll stick with me this year, as we further explore prepping and survivalism.