Gaye Levy, Contributing Writer
Spend ten minutes on the web surfing the key words “Survival Skills” and you will be presented with site after site preaching the gospel of prepping for the time that the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI. I don’t believe I need to explain those terms for you since, if you are reading this blog, you probably know what they mean. Truth is, it is a bit bittersweet for me to see so many people (myself included) planning for a major meltdown of our natural resources, our food supply, our society, and quite possibly our planet.
It is as though we are preparing for a huge rogue wave that is headed our way: a 100 foot wall of disaster that is zooming toward us. We don’t know when it is coming, but soon. And it is definitely coming.
Now wait just one second. I have written about this before but now, as well as then, I have to step aside and ask whether all of this preparation – all of this frantic planning – is creating some sort of cosmic inertia that will somehow fulfill itself. In psychology, this is called a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come ‘true’.
In other words, a prophecy declared as truth when it is actually false may sufficiently influence people, either through fear or logical confusion, so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.
I find this fascinating for a number of reasons.
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First, there is factual truth to the occurrence of extreme climate and geologic events throughout the planet. This may be a 1,000 year event, it may be global warming (jury is still out), or it may be alien intervention. Heck, I don’t know the science well enough to begin to understand why this is happening.
Second, we live in a period of economic strife. While the rich elites are flaunting their wealth, the working stiffs with jobs are hanging on for dear life not knowing whether they will be the next victim of unemployment and homelessness. Middle class? What middle class? What we used to know as the middle class has now shrunk to the point that, by my observation, no one in what was formerly called the middle class is confident enough to say “Yes, life is good here in the middle. I pay my bills with a little bit left over for beer on Friday night and I am secure knowing I will have a comfortable and fulfilling retirement.”
Third, and perhaps most telling, is that fact that so many of us are preparing for a dismal future. Even the main stream bureaucracy has become involved and gone public with the emergency preparation mantra. (See NASA Administrator Recommends Being Prepared to Employees and the CDC’s Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse.) The fabric our our daily life is changing as a result. Because we expect the world situation to go from bad to worse, we are changing our attitudes, our habits, and our personal culture to adapt to a situation we think is going to occur.
And that is the crux of the matter. We are planning for something bad to happen and in the planning, we will change the course of our individual life plan. Are the facts mixed with speculation. Or are facts mixed with a fiction that becomes the new reality? See what I mean about being fascinating?
Let me be clear. I am not saying that prepping and acquiring survival skills is wrong. And most surely, I am not saying that planning for self-reliance and survival will lead to global food shortages and societal chaos. Instead, I am throwing out the possibility and probability that life as we know it is indeed changing. We are making it change, one baby step at a time, with each can of beans, with each bag rice, and with each barrel of water.
The life we are changing may be only a ripple when compared to some unknown, unpredictable catastrophe but it is a change none-the-less. And perhaps that in itself is TEOTWAWKI.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation! — Gaye.
Gaye Levy, the SurvivalWoman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable, self-reliant and stylish lifestyle through emergency preparation and disaster planning through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. SurvivalWoman speaks her mind and delivers her message with optimism and grace, regardless of mayhem swirling around us.
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