Let me start by saying Preparedness Is Never Pointless.
Preparedness isn’t about “guaranteeing” ourselves that we will have a particular result. There are too many aspects that are completely out of our control for this to be realistic. Preparedness is about giving ourselves OPTIONS.
Today’s article is in response to a question posed yesterday by one of our readers. I’m sure that he speaks for nearly everyone—at least at some point in their preparedness efforts. I felt that his answer merited more than a one liner response and one that all of our readers may benefit from—at least I hope so.
How can we be at peace with our preparedness efforts?
“In a society where less than 2% of people will have any preps, even short term. What are the chances of being able to stay in your home in an emergency? I'm starting to think that I need to have better plans to bug out, unfortunately I don't have a dozen reliable people to provide defense.
Seriously, how are we supposed to avoid being overrun by hungry, desperate neighbors?
If it progresses to violence or threats of violence it is only a matter of time till someone snipes us when we go outside.
I'm having a hard time visualizing how it can possibly work. Sometimes that aspect makes me wonder if it’s worth putting all this effort in, just to lose it.”
We have all uttered the words “why bother” when it comes to preparedness. Even men and women that I know, admire, and love have succumbed to a moment of emotional defeat and have uttered the words “why bother”. The good news is that there are some great answers to counter such a defeating rationale.
Ten Areas of Preparedness
First of all, remember that there are 10 different areas of preparedness. Even with the most advanced architectural designs and enforcements, there’s no way that we can guarantee our home will not be gobbled up in an earthquake with all of our preparedness supplies therein. But which aspects of preparedness would such an event really destroy? Medical, Clothing and Shelter, Fuel perhaps, Water, and Food. We would still be left with 5 other areas of preparedness that we own regardless of whether our home stands erect.
An earthquake cannot rob us of our Spiritual strength, our Mental Preparation and Knowledge, our Physical strength, our state of debts (Financial), and our ability to Communicate. However, had we not prepared sufficiently in any of these other areas, the earthquake would be the least of our problems. Yes, there is a point where after all we can do physically our preparedness supplies may be worthless dust in the event of a fire or an earthquake. But after such an event, are we worse off for having prepared? NO. Perhaps our example of preparedness is why we can find safety and solace in the home of another. Perhaps because of all of our preparedness efforts we’ve learned sufficient knowledge along the way to provide for our family in other critical ways as well.
Next, preparedness in the nine other areas following Spiritual Preparedness actually helps to ensure our spiritual preparedness stays intact. How I’m judged after I die is much more important than how I’m judged here. To keep this perspective, our spiritual preparedness has to be our foundation on which we build all other areas of preparedness. It is the physical preparations which will either tax or ensure our spiritual ones. Our Physical Preparedness efforts give us options so that we do not have to become the ugly person who will do anything, including selling our soul, for something to eat. If we do not take the time to prepare physically, then we are leaving ourselves no options to be level headed, peaceful, and capable of providing for us and our families. Instead we will leave ourselves subject to whatever morality prevails in the moment of need.
Yes, in the event of a disaster there will be many desperate souls. Desperation changes even the best of people who are less resolved in their goodness. One of the questions we all need to ask ourselves is, do we want to become one of those desperate souls who will do anything for a meal? We will indeed seal such a fate for ourselves if we do NOT prepare. Our preparedness efforts now will help us to NOT become one of those people. Our efforts provide us with OPTIONS. While a person may have to leave their home to get rid of sanitation waste occasionally, if they are prepared with sufficient supplies, at least they have the option of staying safely inside for a couple of weeks while havoc is wreaked outside.
In addressing this issue, also keep in mind that those who would harm you also require physical and mental sustenance themselves. If they are hungered or thirsty, their intended right hook or sniping will not be well-placed. Their resolve will be compromised by their physical and mental faculties being weakened. Criminals are creatures of prey. They prey on the easy targets, not the fortified ones. History has shown us that 10 days into the aftermath of a disaster eliminates many of the weak and unresolved. During that period of time, while you gather with your family in safety, you can be making preparations to come off conqueror in the event of future encounters.
A key component of being prepared is to mentally prepare yourself for what “might” come. Once you mentally explore the possibilities, then you have to decide what merits your preparedness efforts. I’m sure that there may have been some soldiers on the beach at Normandy who wondered why they ever bothered to bring their gun only to get shot down immediately. On the other hand, there are soldiers and grateful citizens that are still alive today because these brave and prepared soldiers acted with all possible readiness so that they could survive such a slaughter. For that matter, I suppose that any soldier who goes into battle could consider their rifle as an “optional” piece of equipment. Do they occasionally have the doubts of “What if someone is a better shot than me?” “What if I miss the telltale signs of a roadside bomb?” “What good is my body armor if I take a head shot?” Yes. But they still arm themselves to the best of their ability and let God do the rest.
Just as the firearm, the body armor, and the countless hours of drills are important to the preparation of a soldier’s survival, so are our preparedness efforts. Why? Because all preparedness efforts boil down to having OPTIONS. What options do we have to stay safe in our homes when others have to flee if we haven’t taken the time to prepare? If you have no food, water, fuel, clothing, heat, etc., then when there is a prolonged electrical outage in the middle of winter, you have no option but to leave your home in hopes that you find a safer environment. If we do not educate ourselves in matters of alternative health care, then someday the only option we have are to trust in desperation and take any vaccine that’s waved before us. If we do not practice and prepare to defend ourselves, then when the first desperate soul enters our home we have no option but to surrender.
My husband and I like to play strategic games such as Chess, Othello, Sequence, and Stratego. We’re both good at these games because we’re always planning several strategic moves ahead. We specifically plan “now, if he does this, I’m going to do that, and if he does this, I’m going to take this move.” While it messes with my husband’s head when I’ve tried this strategy, I’ve never been able to beat him simply by deploying reckless abandonment in my moves. All it’s really done is finished the game faster.
Ultimately, the moment will come when we will have to meet our Maker and be responsible for how we fought the fight. Will we stand there knowing we gave up on ourselves and our fellow man by simply making defeatist moves, or will we proudly stand knowing we gave it our all to win and accomplish our stewardship? I believe we frequently underestimate our preparedness efforts and the worth of our existence to ourselves, our family and our nations. I hope that we will remember this when we experience moments when we ask ourselves, “Why bother?”
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