The Attitude of Survival, by B.T.

We’re living in a country that’s the equivalent of the Titanic and everywhere around me I see people dancing like nothing’s happening…

In the worst of times and in the best of times, it’s the attitude of your undertaking that matters most. No matter what we may imagine will come to be, most of us will be drastically unprepared when the SHTF. We can have all the basics covered, and we can have a solution to everything we might imagine, but like war and science, there’s always the unexpected we can never account for.

Personally I think most of us won’t actually know when the SHTF  More than likely it will be such a gradual digression that we’ll be unsure if it’s time to bug out or not. I don’t think the major media will be alerting us to the fact the ship is sinking. It’s already sinking and all we hear from them is don’t worry, we’ve got it covered. Don’t let it distract you from dancing to the music.

The biggest unknown is going to be knowing when it’s really time to G.O.O.D.  Am I going to wait until the Golden Horde is rioting in the streets?  It might be too late by then.  Do I continue to watch the news and read the blogs and evaluate all the available data and make the wisest determination I can based upon that?  I don’t know.

I’m not wealthy, so for the time being I need to keep working as long as possible. Do I just keep watching as my dollar is worth less and food harder to come by? Do I let my reserves begin dwindling because circumstances warrant I use them to maintain my current needs ?  In such circumstances the economy itself might just drain my resources before I ever get a chance to use them.  If it all happened tomorrow then I’d venture to say I’m pretty well prepared and my survival rating is pretty high.  If I suffer through a slow drain of my resources as things worsen over time will I be able to maintain my survivability?

I don’t know exactly what will happen. What I do know is I have a good attitude.  I don’t really worry about such things. I have made up my mind to go ahead and move to my retreat this Spring. Hopefully I have the luxury of that much time. I am writing this so others like me who may be contemplating these things, might also reach the same conclusion that I have.  I can’t afford to wait.  I can no longer cling to a lifestyle that I’d have to escape.

Sure, I’ve got my food and water storage going, I’ve got the weapons, survival gear, a retreat to go to, caches along the route in place and a small group of close friends willing to work together in the name of mutual sustainability. All the basics, and then some.  I have the knowledge and experience. I’ve lived off the grid for decades in the past, honing my acquired skills and learning new ones.  I can shoot, hunt, grow a garden, manufacture and improvise low-tech and high-tech. I know the joys and the sufferings.  It’s hard work but full of rewards.

I suggest that if you’re not living on your retreat then plan to do so soon.  Stop contributing to the very system that causes us to live believing  we have to escape to somewhere else from.  If you don’t have a retreat, then devise a plan to simplify and take the first step towards acquiring one or finding someone that does and can use your skills and/or knowledge. Don’t be dead weight.

 If you can’t afford a retreat sell that new vehicle you’re making the monthly payments on and buy used. Become mobile. Get a motor home or trailer or convert a bus or truck, whatever. Consider it your it your Long Term Survival Vehicle).  Whatever solution you come up with tailor it to your needs.

Don’t be owned by your possessions, free yourself and retain only the basics. Sell what you don’t need and get what you do. Make a list of what you can live without and what you can’t. For decades we’ve pampered ourselves with comforts we don’t need and softened ourselves in the process.  Simplify.

Surviving isn’t so much about the equipment you have or don’t have, it’s going to boil down to the attitude you possess. Not the possessions.  Preparedness is an attitude, not an inventory. If we are all to wait until the last moment to make the necessary changes in our lives, we’ll be grossly unprepared.  I no longer believe that it’s a matter of if, but when the SHTF. 

I don’t believe I’m just going to wake up one day and hear it on the radio, grab my BOB, my M1A and jump in my fully outfitted, fully fueled and prepped rig with a secured trailer full of equipment, call my survival squad buddies and make some Mad Max convoy run to our distant retreat  all fully armed and stocked with the necessities of the apocalypse, fending off the Golden Horde with superior firepower while at the same time hastily planting seeds and sending out missions to establish a perimeter. 

I’ve seen all the movies, read all the books and written a few short stories.  I have a very rich and graphic imagination. As fantastical as that is to imagine I don’t think it’s going to come down that way.

I thoroughly believe the beginning of the end will come more like a thief in the night, like some viral disease that cripples you over time.  You slowly become weaker and weaker until one day you can no longer get out of bed, sicken and die. In that final moment you come to the realization that in spite of your best laid plans, you didn’t see it coming. Not when it mattered most anyway. The Schumer isn’t going to hit the fan. It’s going to drip down on it slowly over time, smelling up the air and fouling our nests.

Being prepared is all fine and dandy, but if you are thinking of it like some apocalyptic insurance policy, that you’ll just activate when the moment is upon us, then the attitude is all wrong. The powers that be have always inflicted the ills of their master plan and fiscal folly upon us over an extended period of time, the frog in the hot water analogy.  This will be no different and don’t think it won’t. 

If you wait until the last moment to G.O.O.D., then chances are the authorities will have already outlawed weapons possession, stockpiling food, and owning an inordinate amount of survival equipment. They would have already come through and searched your home, confiscated your outlawed items and hauled you off to some camp for rehabilitation.

That or they’ll establish roadblocks long before they pull the trigger on the apocalypse. Are you really going to resist if they have a warrant and you’ve got your family there to think of?  It’s one thing to imagine yourself wading through the chaos, fighting your way out of the Horde to get where you need to go. It’s completely another when they come knocking on your door with badges, guns and mercenaries to back them up (research Hurricane Katrina). You’ll find yourself a refugee or incarcerated in a world that loathes anyone who thought to think ahead.

They’ll use the excuse that “We’re all in this together” and “All those things you’ve put together and planned for to assure your own survivability are better distributed for the benefit of all.”  They’ll tell you they are much better suited to taking care of you than you are at taking care of yourself. After all, isn’t that the current mindset being employed against us?  Isn’t that the very creed by which we allowed Homeland Security and FEMA and a host of other organizations both visible and invisible to establish themselves as the protectors of our well-being?

We subjugate ourselves to body scanners, body searches, an inordinate amount of senseless laws and policies to protect ourselves from one another. After all, we’ve sheepishly accepted seatbelt laws, helmet laws, mandatory vehicle and health insurance policies, non smoking policies, food and agricultural legislation, consumer protection laws and a multitude of similar intrusions into our personal lives because we’ve been either too lazy or too negligent in taking personal responsibility for our actions. We’ve lost the concept of Common Sense. We’ve neglected the precedent of the Constitution, and allowed ourselves to fall to the level of a herd of sheep.

Our herders have divided and turned us against one another on the basis of race, creed, color and politics.  We’re Red States and Blue States, Conservatives and Liberals, we’re labeled and marketed and sold a bill of goods because we’re awash in comfort and luxury. We stopped making do and sold out for the ability to enjoy it now and pay for it later.

We got distracted keeping up with the Jones’s and connecting ourselves to our possessions.  We are what we drive, where we live, what we live in, how well we eat, what we do for a living. We allowed a corporate consumerist culture to blast us with advertising to the point we’ve forgotten to think for ourselves. That’s all got to change.  You can’t take that attitude with you when the SHTF.
The first step to preparedness and survivability is to lose the pre-programmed attitude of consumerism and selfishness, to become self-reliant in attitude as well as action.  It just might save your life.