Reality check for survivalists

Reality check.  So you reckon you’re ready for this collapse, this energy descent, economic crisis, peak oil, climate change, earthquake, alien invasion, or whatever possible disaster might befall us.  You’re ready for civilization to fall off this cliff it has been racing towards, refusing to acknowledge its position on the precipice.  You’ve got a parachute.  You’ll glide down gently.  It’s other people, those who haven’t prepared themselves, who need to watch where they’re going.

Reality check.  You might have your parachute, and it might well save you.  The only issue is this. When everyone else around you sees that you have a parachute — and it’s not something you can hide — they will want it.  They will fight you for it.  They will kill you for it.  Or they will plead for it.  Or they will ask nicely, “could we share it?” and you will take pity on them.  Or they will sabotage it.  Probably all of these.  Your parachute doesn’t stand a chance.

There’s not enough parachutes for all of us.  Maybe you have your vegie garden, which despite it’s small size and minor contribution to your overall food needs, has you convinced that you’ll out-survive the neighbours.  You’ve got your rainwater tank, your tinned food, or your gold under the bed.  You’ve got your guidebook to wild edibles, and your backpack full of protein pills, water filter and first aid kit so you can run away from anything.  You’ve got your neighbourhood sustainability group talking about solar panels and recycling.

Reality check.  Unless you’ve got a way to thrive beyond civilization, not just for you, but your seven or eight or nine billion nearest neighbours, no-one survives unharmed.

Anything could happen.  Nothing you do will protect you from every imaginable disaster.  And if you do survive, you’ll still be living in fear, because there will always be more disasters to prepare for.

While you worry about impending doom and future scenarios, your life is wasting away, destroyed by anxiety about what might never happen.

Reclaim your life.  You’re living now.  Make it meaningful, for yourself and everyone else.  Then when things get interesting, more interesting than things already are, you’ll be ready to deal with it.  You’ll be there, totally present, and prepared in a way that no amount of planning could ever get you.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jonathan Hontz on May 9, 2012 at 3:45 am

    Some of the most lucid advice I can think of. Sometimes I think we’re so isolated from each other that we believe we will be able to ride out whatever happens on our own, wait for things to calm down, and then rebuild. We believe we’ll be able to do all of this without needing to interact, help, or otherwise witness what our fellow humans are going through.

    It’s hard because we pretty much need to come to terms with the fact that a disaster of these kinds of proportions is going to kill many people, and each of us has a chance of being one of them.



  2. Posted by Jonathan Hontz on May 9, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Reblogged this on The False Division and commented:
    Sound advice for doomers, activists, survival-minded people, collapse preparedness instructors, and so forth. I couldn’t have said it any better.


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