Friday, July 13, 2012

Modern Survivalism: To worry or not to worry?

I was reading a couple days ago a thread over at Arfcom(, survival forum)  called “Fear for Sale” about how often fear is sold to us and many end up buying it one way or another. The discussion later turned towards preparedness, fear in general and at some level how fear of not being ready is what differentiates survivalists and preppers from those that don’t worry and plan for unfortunate circumstances.

Is it really fear what makes a survivalist? To some point I believe it is, even though the key part of the survivalist recipe is actually doing something about it, develop a strategy and execute it, have plans for some of these events and set them in place. If we look at it from the chicken and egg perspective regarding which one was first, yes, I’d say that to some degree you must have at least some concern so as to get off your butt and start doing something. The person that never worries about anything is unlikely to make much preparation for disaster. 

The problem I at least see is when fear is beyond rational, consumes your life on every level, from your finances to your loved ones and relationships with friends. Its in this point where fear becomes counter-productive and instead of becoming truly prepared for disasters or simply tougher times you become isolated and enclosed in your world of fear, doom and negativity. Rather than begin helpful, these negative flaws of character impair your ability during real tough times. If you cant stay positive during the good or at the very least ok times, then you will not make it during the truly tough ones.

When the world you end up living in gets turned upside down, then you cant afford to live in a constant state of fear. We recently talked with a good friend of ours who lives in Argentina and she was telling us how bad things are getting, how its worse than when we left and how we left “just in time”. There’s been a series of robberies in her block, armed burglars entering the apartment buildings at gun point.  A few days before, she was chased by a man and run into a store for safety. Robberies and muggings are part of everyday life. She said she’s now afraid to even throw the trash within the building, scared of getting attacked in the corridors. Then she said something that stuck and now thinking about this topic of living in fear comes to mind. “I realized I cant live afraid all the time. I try being careful but now I just go out and throw the trash and try not to even think about it so as to not worry. You cant live in fear your entire life”.

That’s called resignation folks. Its what the brain does so that you don’t go nuts over things you have no control of.  While this is far from ideal, I do understand it because I’ve been there myself. Now looking it from another perspective I don’t know how we lived that way ourselves. 

Its one thing to live in denial, that gets you killed. Its important to recognize and acknowledge the threats, but eventually you have to live life in spite of how bad things have turned.


Anonymous said...

Very good post, Fernando. One of the best, in my opinion. I know the feeling of "unplugging" yourself from reality to forget, at leats for a few minutes or hours, how screwed-up life is getting. I have changed my lifestyle drastically due to our crime situation in Puerto Rico. From fortifying my home, to self-imposed curfews and off-limits areas, to leaving from my home with a gun on hand (literally), where I eat, where I drink, where I park, change in folklore/culture (example - not celebrating New Years anywhere close to outdoors since dumb-asses "cacos" here like to shoot off their guns to the air as if they were celebrating with fireworks -- bullets may hit you, and believe it or not, we had many of those situations) etc. It hits me when I see my kids; I compare the freedoms and lack of concience in regards to self-preservation and security that I had in the past when I was growing up to my kid's freedoms today. Lots of mixed feelings, my friend. Eventhough, I feel I'm doing good by protecting them, at the same time I feel they are not living life 100%. My biggest fear: getting careless by letting them enjoy a bit and that something bad happens to my family. It is this predicament that keeps my sword sharp. Trying to escape reality and letting go from time to time is ok, as long as you don't lose your bearings. Trust me. This post touched many of my buttons. Hell, I should move to Northern Ireland! Haha! Thank you for all your advice, FerFAL. Really, very good post. //Carlos//

Anonymous said...

It's not fear. It's risk tolerance. Just like with investments some people are more risk tolerant than others. No one seems to think about it as "fear" in the financial realm. It's cast as "fear" in the context of prepping my the mainstream media to throw a negative connotation on it.

Most people are just plain oblivious to whatever may happen.

DMS said...

For me the point of preparedness is so that I _don't_ have to worry all the time.

Of course I could always be "more" prepared than I am, but I know that I can't prepare for everything, so I've taken what I think are reasonable precautions. Beyond that I try not to obsess about it.

Anonymous said...

If you are improving your quality of life---for example I am doing painting, small repairs, getting a new steel door on the side of the garage-- these could be viewed as preps. However, it is also improving our lives.

I am buying some food--but at the rate food is going up, this is ending up saving us money.

I am planting more fruit trees, raising chickens. To me these activities are fun--- but could also pay off in the future.

Enjoy your life, make changes that will improve it whether you end up going through hard times or not.


Jeff said...

Bear spray fails to work on bear:


I don't think it's fear. It's commonsense. I don't stay asleep at night worrying about the economic collapse. I prep the best way that i can and I live my live the best way that I can.