As part of the journey toward self-sufficiency, we continue to evaluate life not only in terms of the here and now, but also in terms of tomorrow and beyond. After all, the goal is to be independent of entitlements, of government intervention and of course, the influences of the PTB.
This is not an easy task.
And so we look beyond our own sphere of influence and reality, in search of others who may have done it better. Others who have achieved that which we strive for. Others who appear to have it all. But appearances can be deceiving. For every person we perceive as having it all, there is another looking to us with their own eyes, perhaps envious because “we” have it all.
Is Having it All Enough?
Reconciling the fiction of “having it all” with reality is tough, since the perception of life experiences can vary from person to person. That said, I believe most people would agree that “having it all” includes a nice home, good health, and a decent job or the financial means to enjoy a comfortable retirement. It also means little or no debt, healthy relationships, and an inquisitive and curious mind. So when you meet someone who seems to score 100% on all of these factors, you begin to wonder: When will this happen to me? When will I have it all?
As I was reminded today, the best answer to these questions is never. And here are a few reasons why:
Material goods are just that: things. They will not provide food for the belly nor warmth on a cold night. Stuff is stuff.
A fabulous house is made up of sticks and nails. The modest little bungalow is composed of the same. Both serve their primary purpose of providing shelter. And the difference? A bit of decoration here, a bit of extra comfort there. Funny thing is that at night when you are sleeping, there is no difference at all.
A good job or financial wealth will insure comforts beyond the basics. New clothes, nights out on the town, vacations to exotic places – all of these things require money and a good job or wealth become a prerequisite.
But . . .
The need to have a sense of purpose – the need to feel vital and valuable – is a unique quality of the human species. For those of us that are normal (I am not referring to sociopaths here), there is an inherent desire to help our fellow man, to share our knowledge and to help make our world a better place albeit in some small way. This need overcomes the desire for more stuff, a bigger house and a fat bank account.
For the survivalist or prepper who seeks to protect his or her family from disaster, famine or societal chaos, this need is manifest in everyday life. There is a sense of purpose in knowing we have done our best to prepare for the uncertainties of nature and time, and a sense of value derived from the satisfaction in knowing that our “work” will keep loved ones out of harm’s way.
And the person who seems to have it all? Well let me say this: that person also seeks and needs a purpose. Do not assume that a nice home, financial independence, a household name and a cartload of friends delivers this intangible but vital component of life. To me that is sad. Very sad.
So today I applaud my readers at Backdoor Survival and the the Prepper’s who have taken on our world with unmitigated enthusiasm and the wherewithal to prepare, protect and do whatever it takes to keep themselves and their families safe.
You are the one’s that have it all.
The Final Word
This is the time year when it is easy to get caught up in the commercialism of of the holiday season. It is easy to observe the habits of others and wonder where you might have missed out. The reality is, you have not missed out at all. In fact, you are probably way ahead of the game with perhaps a bit less stuff and a bit more attitude. The good type of attitude, that is. The attitude we call the survival mindset.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: One of the best places to seek out survival gear is the outdoor and camping section of your local sporting goods or hardware store. Here are some basics from Amazon to set you on your way to having the right gear available to do the job without spending a ton of money. Don’t forget a Rothco Pack to carry it all.
Emergency Fire Starter: Hugely popular with my readers, this inexpensive magnesium emergency fire starter will do the job for less than $5.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter: At only 2 ounces (in weight), the LifeStraw is suitable for a backpack or bug out bag. It is easy to use and requires no chemicals to remove a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria.
Survival Kit Military Style Can Opener: This is a no frills P-51 military surplus can opener. Less than $3 for two.
Rothco 550lb. Type III Nylon Paracord: Pick your poison, color-wise, just be aware that some colors are more expensive than others. What to do with Paracord? Read: 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.
SE 7-Inch Hunting Knife with Fire Starter: Another inexpensive option for a highly rated knife. It has a full-tang stainless-steel tanto blade and includes a green cord-wrapped handle a belt sheath with a Velcro securing strap, and a magnesium alloy fire starter. Less than $10.
Tinder-Quik Fire Tabs: There are times when your DIY fire starting materials may not be available. These fire tabs will fit the bill nicely.
Chainmate Survival Pocket Chain Saw With Pouch: This is a survival chain saw that includes a belt loop pouch. Here is what one of the reviewers said: “This thing EATS wood and weighs nothing!! It takes a little bit of effort but you can chew through a hardwood tree half a foot thick in literally a couple minutes; half that if you use two people (one on each end).”
Cyalume SnapLight Industrial Grade Chemical Light Sticks: You know how I love my light sticks. Keep them in drawers next to the bed, your kitchen junk drawer, your car, your backpack – everywhere. Read: Lighting Your Way With Chemical Lighting.
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Which are the best oils for your survival kit? This article describes my top picks.