Letter Re: True Self Sufficiency Requires Multi-Generational Teamwork

To The Editor,
I am an outdoorsman. I love camping, hiking, and biking. To enjoy these things, I must be in decent shape. I have to work at physical health because I have a desk job. So I exercise regularly. Keeping oneself reasonably healthy is part of being prepared. But I am not so young anymore. I am not old, mind you, in my early 50s, but I don’t consider myself young either. Yet, I am reminded of my physical limitations more often the older I get. I thought of this the other day when I was working in the garden getting ready for spring planting. My monster rototiller can be a beast sometimes, and after 45 minutes of running the heavy machine I was getting tired. I find myself getting tired more now that I am past the 50 year milestone. But I knew I needed to finish that section of the garden so I pushed on. I wonder how much longer I will physically be able to push on.

I figure I have at least 20 more years of physical health, hopefully much longer. But I also realize that I need help with some things. The older I get the more things I will need help with. I cut down a tree the other day, but I needed the help of my two youngest children, both teenagers. I couldn’t have done it without them. It is great to have big strong young people around. Which brings me to my point. If you are preparing for when the ‘stuff hits the fan’, part of your preparation needs to be to find people of all ages with whom to connect. My neighbor is a 30-something man and we help each other with jobs we can’t do ourselves… occasionally. Keep these kind of friendships. Work on being a good neighbor. Make friends with your neighbors. Even if you don’t mention preparedness, at least be friendly. The truth is the younger folks can learn from the older guys and us older guys need the younger folk to help us out. Having adult children is a blessing not to be underestimated. However, it is not always possible to have your adult children living nearby.

Although we would all like to say we have prepared sufficiently and we are prepared, I would suggest you look at how long you can survive without the help of others. Self-sufficiency… with the emphasis on self, works only for a while. You can survive for a month, three months, maybe even a year without the help of others. But this is not a sustainable lifestyle. Eventually all of us get older. Eventually all of us need help with the big projects. Eventually all of us need our neighbors. – Chuck G.