Similarly to the rules of physics (Newton’s Laws of Motion), in life every action will engender a reaction. Fortunately, it’s not always an “equal and opposite” one (no matter what the evidence of Obama vs. the Republicans would tell us). Most often, if we put a little thought into things, we can make a pretty good prediction what kind of reaction we’ll get; it’s when we don’t stop to consider that things start to go poorly.
Case in point: we (my family) are dealing with the aftermath of a series of bad decisions, going back years, made by a friend of my wife’s. It’s a long story; part of said aftermath is the adoption and mild rehabilitation of another dog–to add to the three we already have. To be fair, a chunk of the rehabilitation will be self-actuated: part of it is the animal learning “how to dog.” Therein lies my issue: there’s no reason a 12-year-old dog should *need* to learn that.
But those aren’t the lessons I’m referring to in this week’s title; the dog is just a symptom of the overall situation. No, the lessons are really more of the nature of: “What can we learn from this situation, how things got here, and how to move forward?”
Hindsight being 20-20, we can look back and see any of a number of points where a different decision, or a slightly different course of action (by one of a number of people), would probably have led to a different result. Obviously, the friend had the most opportunities–but some people simply aren’t able, for whatever reason, to “step outside” and assess things. Or, probably more likely, their ability to do so is stunted, for lack of a better word.
I’ve long held a suspicion that this is one of the main faults behind the “standard right-wing prepper” line of reasoning. They seem to follow the logic of: what would I do in that situation, then decide that everyone else would do the same thing. “No bread on the shelves at the store? Rioting on the streets, then vigilante groups going house-to-house to take what food they want.” (I actually saw this line, near-verbatim, on a different blog recently.)
The following line, from here, actually struck me as more of the same:
It boggles the mind that most people seem to think that when disasters strikes they’ll be able to depend on someone else to provide them with assistance.
Perhaps I’m just a liberal softie, but the thing that boggles me is that people can be boggled by this. Isn’t this what civil society is about–helping others when they need it, and being helped when you’re in need? I understand and can get behind the “a lack of planning on your part doesn’t constitute an emergency on mine,” but in large-scale disasters, the best reaction tends to be gathering together to pull everyone else out of the mess.
This will probably be an intermittent series of posts, as the situation develops with the friend, and my wife and I discuss more aspects of it. In the meantime, how are your preps? Getting to use them in the recent snowstorms, like we are? We’ll have a “post-game assessment” when we thaw out in a few weeks…