Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Patrick H. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
There is a very popular Hollywood movie, although not a box office smash at the time that has aged incredibly well and developed a bit of a cult following, it has even spawned an Internet church, which offers free ordination, and it’s own festival. One could say that simply imitating “The Dude” from the Big Lebowski is no way to go about being prepared for life and emergencies that may come up. I would agree with that, it is not a prepper film, nor is the character to be emulated, but that’s just, my opinion, man. However the idea they casually present in the film is taken from a natural law and a verse from Ecclesiastes 1:4 “One generation passes away and another generation comes: but the Earth abides forever”, this is something that we can all learn and benefit from.
Growing up it wasn’t called survival, it wasn’t about being prepared to flee or hunker down, it wasn’t about being armed for the sake of defense from looters, marauders or a terrorist attack although when armed for whatever reason you are better prepared to attend to any of the above, it wasn’t about fear of the unknown or possible outcomes of an unknowable future. It wasn’t tactical and it certainly wasn’t cool and there was no fear going into it or the expectation of something bad happening. It was called living and being ready to face whatever work and uncertainty any day on the farm might bring. It was about doing the daily chores, checking the pumps and irrigation, feeding the chickens and shoveling the manure, baling hay and putting up for the winter months, canning the garden surplus and sharing the rest. It was about neighbors and community, it wasn’t perfect but it worked and continues to today.
It is a mindset that can only be learned by doing, when all is as it should be the body does what the mind tells it to do and only you should be able to control how you think. Notice, I said should, as all to often in today’s society we confuse our own free will with what we have been spoon fed by many sources, good and bad.
So having the right mind is paramount and with this mindset comes the stoicism and steadfastness that leads to quiet strength in emergencies, natural disasters and the ability to deal with whatever, whichever wicked and /or good things that will come your way in this crazy little thing called life. Let’s look at how you can put this mindset to your own prosperous use and for the sake of definition let’s give it a name.
I would maybe call it “country thinking” or “farmer thinking” or “we don’t have the money to buy new clothes, so we better make some thinking” but none of these really roll of the tongue or could be featured in an infomercial or self-help guide, so let’s give it a fancy, modern, branded name. “The WILL to abide”
By definition “to abide”: accept or act in accordance with (a rule, law, decision or recommendation). I want to bring in a laser focus on the later part “act in accordance with” this means that as things are presented, as they come to your immediate need of attention they will be dealt with and this is really a natural law. Think about it, you are getting in the car, you have the day planned, you know where you are going and what you are going to get done, nature suddenly calls, well if your smart, naturally, you will abide. Another example might be that you are loading your car trunk full of whatever supplies, sundries or materials you have just procured and the trunk wont close, but you have twine in your trunk so you place a well-practiced knot and a truckers hitch and on your merry way you go, this is also “the will to abide”. You need to cut the twine for another purpose (because if you know your knots and hitches there is no need to cut the twine for a simple hitch) so you take the old timey pocketknife or modern multi-tool or whatever it is that you always have with you because you know you will need it and you cut the twine. The blade is sharp because you abide by the fact a sharp knife cuts cleanest and a dull knife is more dangerous, that a cut from a sharp knife heals quicker than a gash from a dull one, you know this is true so you abide.
How to achieve “The WILL to abide”, for some it is quite natural, some people have had very pragmatic upbringings and having “the WILL to abide” isn’t second nature but rather is nature and how they will deal with everything that crosses their path, barely thought about but for others it is an empowered awakening that brings them to the point of realizing that they are responsible in how they process their day-to-day interactions with the world we all share. For others still it is a tool that needs sharpening, just like that pocketknife so it is ready to use when needed.
#1 – Surrender the fear:
You will never have everything you need every time all the time, you are not in control of the larger picture, you cannot carry every conceivable tool or replacement part for every possible situation. Realize that things are not really in your control and that’s okay. Become at ease with it, abide by it, embrace the fact that none of us are impervious and you simply cannot be prepared for everything. If a large enough asteroid were to hit the earth and blow it apart, all your preps and respective molecules will be floating in the vacuum of space and that’s that. With liberty from fear comes the freedom to act. Remember the serenity prayer regardless of your denomination or belief system it applies universally “ God/Buddha/Vishnu/Spaghetti Monster grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”
#2 – Embrace change:
Change is a changeless state; it is constant and ongoing, unstoppable. Winter begets spring, which begets summer, which begets fall. You crawled, then walked, then ran, and then used a cane, then laid down to your final rest. Reject your hard-wired normalcy bias, it is a chemical deception and will not last, make yourself aware of the fact that everything is going to change, then refer to #1. When you are putting up a new building drive by one that is falling down, in disrepair and remind your self that what is now brand new will someday most likely be in the same state of decomposition, you can tell yourself maybe that won’t happen but most likely it will and over a long enough time line it is certain.
#3 – Be discerning in your thoughts:
Don’t fall into every fear mongering headline the mainstream and alternative media feeds you or avoid them altogether if you wish and cut the cord but the same goes for the prepper community, there are certain things I am certain of personally and will believe till the day I die, that we have not been told the truth about 9/11, that the banks knew they would be bailed out in 2008 and that big pharma does not always have our best interests at heart. However there are things that are just plain fear porn and manipulations used to make prepared people, people who will abide seem like foolish chicken little’s as well as sell overpriced gear and food and gladly take your hard-earned commodities. Cultivate your common sense and don’t be fooled, search for truth but don’t be an absolutist, see # 2
4# – Live the prep:
Abraham Lincoln once said “ If I had six hours to cut down a tree, I would spend four hours sharpening the axe” What does that really mean? It means that dull and inefficient tool use is dangerous and wasteful, on many levels. It means that if you have your 1 or 2-year supply of food, are you ready to implement it? Are you rotating it? Do you know how to cook with it? Are you using the tools you have in the most effective ways they can be used? You may have a thousand rounds of .308 ammo and the spiffiest new scope on your AR-10 down in the basement but is your scope sighted in, do you know how to use the Mil-Dots on that thing to allow for windage and declination or elevation? Do you have a can of seeds but no experience gardening? Ask your self these real questions and give yourself real answers, then act accordingly and practice, abide with the idea that someday soon you may need them for real but implement them now and use them now, there is always an excuse and a solution, if your apartment doesn’t have the green spaces for a garden, start something in your windowsill, anything to raise your experience level and your personal value to what is now and what you will need to abide.
Develop Community Now:
I have several, rather distant, semi-acquaintances that can quote every new meteor threat and site You Tube scripture as to the moment the world is going to stop spinning and how ready they are to be lone wolves in this brave new world. Well, good on them, thankfully they are all childless and spouse-less and their specific genetic mutations will not pass on. Humankind is not a solitary animal, never has been and never will be, sure we have a small percentage of curmudgeons and hermits but thankfully it is just that, a small percentage. We need each other now folks and we will need each other after a flood, hurricane, mega virus or an EMP, so the logical thing is to build a network of like-minded people in your extant community and a good cognitive knowledge of others that would be useful in a post SHTF scenario. I have lots of sewing supplies but I don’t have a loom, but I know someone who does. I have eggs, fish and rabbits and I know quite a few people who raise a hog or seven, see where I’m going here? No matter what happens in the future “The WILL to abide” means community.
The Will to abide is about power: friends, self power, community power and the power of the human spirit to adapt, change and grow, it is about being prudent, resourceful, prepared, self-sufficient and a whole bunch of other fallen from favor adjectives. The fact that society as a whole doesn’t share our perspective that things are always changing and that we are overdue for a larger than normal event doesn’t diminish our existing society. It simply means that it will not abide.