It happened a few years ago during a trip to USA for the Self Reliance expo in Utah. After the expo we decided to go have dinner to this place nearby. Jack Spirko was driving and as he turned to enter a parking lot he had to hit the breaks to avoid running over a woman and her two brats that just walked in front of the car without a care in the world. “People like these, they will be the first ones to go when SHTF” said Jack.
You know what? Jack was right. People like that are the ones that will suffer the most during disasters, even the ones that are more likely to die as life gets harder.
Now that I live in a more civilized part of the world I see it all the time as well. Whenever we witness some Darwin defying stupidity, my wife usually shakes her head and says “some of these people, they wouldn’t last a week in Argentina without getting killed”, and I know she’s right on a number of levels.
First, there’s that level of utter stupidity that makes zombies look like theoretical physicists. These are people that that not only walk without the most basic level of awareness, as in the minimum required not to get run over by cars when crossing the street and playing with your cellphone, but they also lack the most elemental parenting instinct so as to watch over their kids too. I’ve lost count already of the people that I’ve seen walking and crossing the street as if walking across their living room. I’m 100% certain that as my wife says, these people would be dead within a week in Buenos Aires just because of buses, taxi drivers, lack of proper street signaling and the average nutcase behind the wheel which is the typical Argentine driver.
I see parents letting they kids wonder away like they wouldn’t do with the dog they are walking, taking for granted that some good Samaritan will find their kid and return it to them, rather that kidnap the child for ransom or worse.
Then there’s the absolute ignorance regarding anything that slightly resembles home and personal security. People might as well put signs on the door saying please rob me. The doors and lock themselves are a joke which is bad enough, but then to make it even worse people leave their doors opened all the time. I’ve lost count of the people that came to my home to deliver something or do some repairing and were stunned that I dare close the gate to my back yard! You close your front AND BACK door? Madness! Again, you don’t get away with that for long in most of South America.
To some degree I can somehow justify most of it. They walk like children in a playground because they are used to cars stopping waiting for them to cross. They take for granted the drivers will see them, will stop, will be responsible drivers. They just aren’t used to moving around in a world where a third of the people driving wouldn’t have passed a proper driving test or bus drivers that, I kid you not, at least half of them are clinically insane.
Same goes for security. People here, most of them have never been mugged in their life, most have never seen the wrong end of a gun barrel. They’ve never suffered a home invasion or even know friends of family that have gone through that. Its all so distant and unreal to them. Not long ago there was this scam going around here. A guy would knock on people’s door, claim to be from the power or cable company saying there was a problem with their billing, and people would downright give them their credit card and banking information! In Buenos Aires I doubt anyone would have opened the door to them, let alone give away you credit card like that.
If we add to this the general self-indulgence and lack of maturity shown by many adults, then you start wondering how will a lot of these people fare even with a slight degradation of their perfectly safe, idiot-proof world.
There’s always exceptions, but for some reason they seem to be a clear minority. A significant number of people cant take care of themselves, let alone their kids. They struggle during the good times they wouldn’t even know where to begin in the bad ones.
People have to toughen up. They have to become more aware, more responsible for themselves and their own families. I’m not even talking about material preparations here. I’m talking about a significant change of mindset and attitude towards life, one that those lacking it have no way of making it if disaster or even just hard times strike.