Today, as things continue to deteriorate around us, I feel that it is important for all of us to step up and have heart for the good people in our community. These are the people that are ordinary, hard-working, law abiding citizens that have been caught in this economic slump with no job (or a lousy minimum wage job), no safety net, and not a whole lot to look forward to.
I personally feel a lot of compassion for these people and want to share my thoughts on “having heart”. I have used that term often and yet when I tried to find the origin or that saying, I drew a blank. So, lacking something better, let us go with “having the passion to care and to show kindness to your fellow man”.
Now you might ask: Why this? And why today?
I will answer that but first, I want to let you know that back in July, I sent a version of this article to my newsletter subscribers. At the time, my newsletter list was new and I only had a few hundred subscribers which means that only a handful of my readers have seen this. And so I share this today, because for me – and I hope for you – the message is important.
What is wrong with this picture?
Back in July, I read an article by Michael Snyder, a fellow blogger at The Economic Collapse blog. Michael is an outspoken (and might I also say outstanding) voice in the survival niche and his articles are widely syndicated across the internet. Normally, I tend not to mention them on Backdoor Survival since his work is already well-covered elsewhere.
But, when the article titled Scenes Of Despair was posted, I just knew I had to speak up and pass it on.
In this article, you will to told of heartbreaking stories about ordinary folks whose lives have been decimated by global economic woes. These are stories about people like us: ordinary law-abiding people who have been caught in the web of corruption and deceit created by Wall street, the banking industry and elected officials not just here in the United States, but throughout the world.
It starts out like this:
Sometimes it can be easy to forget that behind all of the horrible economic numbers that we hear about are millions of real people that have had their lives absolutely devastated by this economy.
Elderly couples are being brutally evicted from their homes, young families are living in their cars, terminally ill people are dying because they cannot afford medication that they need and millions of parents can’t sleep at night as they wrestle with anxiety over not being able to provide for their children. Often those that lose their jobs or their homes discover that people start looking at them very differently and that there is very little compassion out there these days.
As you will read about below, one major U.S. bank is even kicking an elderly woman with stage 4 breast cancer out of her home because she cannot make her full mortgage payment each month.
This, to me, is very sad. And eye-awakening especially since I sit here in the comfort of my own home with no debt, a great job, great health, and lots of gear, food and water for the long term. It would be easy to sit back with blinders on and simply enjoy life.
Alas, no can do. I want, no, I need to have heart. But there is more.
As the reign of hard currency ends, poor people will feel the pain
Last May, I read another article, Stealing Dignity From the Poor, which, in a similar vein, talked about how the poor were treated with less than respect. The article told about a poor person trying to purchase a dog collar with a collection of coins – 30 quarters to be exact.
Many stores don’t want to bother with a pile of pennies, nickels and dimes, and there’s no law that says they have to.
So when the poor try to use coin instead of flashing a credit or debit card, a merchant will all too often just kick the low-income customer to the curb.
Just one more example of how the homeless are considered disposable people.
Just one more example of how the poor must endure not only a lack of money, but how determined some are to take away the last remnants of their dignity.
What is wrong with people, anyway? What happened to kindness regardless of dress and regardless of economic status and appearance? Has our society become so blinded that we can fathom a lower class?
Well I have news for you. The middle class is rapidly disappearing. In my opinion we have not seen the worst yet. Again, in my opinion, we are in a bubble of goodness and will be in that bubble until after the election. Come 2013, regardless of which candidate prevails, the S will HTF in one way or another. When that happens, we may become the person with just a stack of coins with which to pay for our goods.
The Final Word
The best we – the ordinary folks – can do now is to live our lives vy having heart. We need to live our lives with compassion for those that deserve it and, lest we become a victim, keep our wits about us and prepare as best we can for a time when we may need that compassion ourselves.
I would like to end with a quote by Jim Henson, founder of the Muppets before he died. “My legacy is to make the world just a little bit better by having been here.” In these uncertain times, we can not ask or expect for anything more than that.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
From the Bargain Bin: I put some thought into the things I would want to have if/when there is another Great Depression. These are all items I personally have on hand.
Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: Cast iron items were at the top of the list. My readers love cast iron and so do I. Also at the top were Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers and the Lodge Max Temp Handle Mitt.
All New Square Foot Gardening: I put in a Square Foot Garden last year and was pleased with the results. It is not too early to start planning for spring planting.
Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking: At an average cost of 50 cents a loaf, this bread is easy, delicious and inexpensive to make.
How to Live on Wheat: Everything you need to know about wheat.
Fiskars 7855 8-Inch Hatchet: The Fiskars products are easily sharpened and will last a lifetime. For less than $25, what is not to like? Oh, and while you are at it, you might also like the Fiskars Axe & Knife Sharpener for an additional $10.
Kaito Voyager KA500 Solar/Crank Emergency AM/FM/SW NOAA Weather Radio: A lot of different hand crank radios were sold but this was by far, the most popular.
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I do believe in helping my neighbors in the community so a supply of these will be handy to hand out to those in need. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency.
Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart: I You NEED this book if you care about defending your homestead.
I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss. The Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials is something I use all year round. With the grocery store a 20 mile round trip journey, I like the thought of being able to rehydrate my own fruit, in the quantity I want, at a moments notice.
The selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries.
But not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn , Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.
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