You read the news. You watch the talking heads on TV. You subscribe to a number of survival blogs. And you spend a great deal of your spare time and money preparing for the worst, or, what is commonly called, “the end of the world as we know it”.
Now don’t get me wrong. I too believe we should prepare and further, that the world has changed. And changed in some unexpected and drastic ways: housing deflation, extreme weather conditions, endless wars, out of control unemployment and, of course, terrorist threats. Who saw it coming during the boom times of the 80s and 90s? Darn it, things are really a mess.
And so our lives are filled with doom and gloom and a sense of urgency to get it done now. Store some food, grow a garden, stash away water, learn to fire a gun, buy some gold, compile and emergency plan. Jeesh…the list goes on and on.
Today I would like to pause and say let us catch our collective breaths. Let me encourage you to hold on with as much gumption and heart as you can. Yes, we are in for a bumpy ride. But that does not mean we have to put joy and happiness aside. Instead, we need to put having fun at the top of our daily task list right next to sharing some hugs and telling someone you love them.
Because truth be told, humans are quite resilient. We have courage, we have conscience and we have the capacity to imagine. And perhaps most striking, we have an innate ability to find goodness in the depth of tragedy.
A few weeks ago I read an article titled “Why Disasters Make the Vast Majority of Us Better People”. Unfortunately it’s now offline, but here is an excerpt:
Let’s debunk the myth of the panicking disaster victim since the evidence proves that most people behave in the aftermath of disaster as altruists.
The evidence gathered over centuries of disasters, natural and man-made, is overwhelming. The vast majority of people, when a disaster hits, behave in the aftermath as altruists. They organize spontaneously to save their fellow human beings, to share what they have, and to show kindness. They reveal themselves to be better people than they ever expected.
Recent events in Haiti, Japan, and the US South bear witness to the overwhelming kindness and compassion inherent in the human species. In addition, we have seen over and over again how victims have risen from the loss of their homes, their possessions, and their loved ones with a strong spirit and the will to go on.
As a community, I hope my readers will take a moment and remember that all is not doom and gloom. There is a lot of life left in this rocky old planet and we need to continue to live with the spirit and enthusiasm that has brought us to this point. And, as we feverishly prepare for a what-if scenario, take a moment to remember that your fellow man is ready to walk beside you no matter what happens. If the S*** really does hit the fan, you will not walk alone.
I want to remind you of the last scene in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. The young boy was surrounded by the love of strangers and we sensed that teensy bit of optimism that would carry him and his new family to a better life in a rebuilt world.
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!
Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: George Ure over at Urban Survival has been thinking similar thoughts lately. Yesterday, he wrote about Coping: Is the World Really Ending? If you haven’t been reading his daily economic dish, you should. To quote George on current economic doom and gloom:
“the odds of a muddle-through seem at least as good as the complete collapse of the US into total – and unrecoverable – anarchy.”