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Recently I asked some of the book festival authors the following question: Given your background, knowledge and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?
It has been interesting to read the answers and I am always surprised that the responses are so different from each other. That just goes to show you that we all live our lives within a different context. We have different family situations, live in various geographical areas, have varying degrees of health and wellness, and span a wide range within the economic strata.
One of the more interesting responses came from Ron Brown, author of the Non Electric Lighting Series of books and eBooks. He submitted his response and then, after the fact, he submitted an alternate version. By that time it was too late to include the alternate in the article. Instead, I share with you today, the three most important survival skills according to Grandpa.
What skills did Grandpa need to survive?
We all want to “live a long time” but we don’t want to “get old.” Funny thing, language. “Survival” is the same as “living.” If we don’t survive, we die. If we don’t live, we die. Same thing, no?
When the SHTF, modern technology (cell phones, microwave ovens) will disappear and our lifestyle will return to an 1800’s lifestyle, to Grandpa’s era. What skills did Grandpa need to survive? Not just survive and hang onto life by a whisker, but survive and prosper?
The answer is simple. There are three skills that Grandpa took pains to learn: reading, writing, and arithmetic.
This is not a cute or silly answer. This is the real answer. You wanna survive in Grandpa’s era? Learn Grandpa’s skills.
You will need the ability to read directions. “Turn the adjusting screw clockwise.” Today, my neighbor’s kid doesn’t know how to read an analog wall clock. She doesn’t know what “clockwise” means.
You will need to keep a diary. “A short pencil is worth a long memory.” What was the date you started the tomato seeds last year? And what were the results? And the year before that? And what was the variety name? And how much did you pay?
Cursive writing is three times faster than printing. It’s much more efficient than printing. My neighbor’s kid cannot do cursive writing. Nor can she read it. Nor can my doctor’s receptionist read cursive writing. She’s edjumacated. She’d have a hard time in the 1800’s.
You can always hire somebody with a strong back for stoop labor. Always. You can today. You could in the 1800’s. But finding somebody who can “do” numbers. Without a calculator? Different story.
The three skills that Grandpa valued – reading, writing, and arithmetic – are the same three skills that you, like Grandpa, would need to live in Grandpa’s era. Everything else you can figure out as you go along. If you have those three skills. Next question?
The Final Word
Perhaps because of my age and because I am not around young people much, it did not occur to me that the three Rs (the three “Rs”—reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic) were becoming lost in the digital age. If what Ron is saying is true, however, then indeed, these are definitely skills that need to be promoted as survival skills.
In these days of computers, smartphones, eBook readers,tablets and Xboxes, it is easy to become seduced by technology. We all need to do our part to ensure that these three vital skills are not lost.
You can read Ron’s complete interview in the article Ron Brown and The Non Electric Lighting Series.