John Silveira shared a few thoughts in “The Last Word” column in the November/December 2008 “Backwoods Home Magazine” on his changing attitudes toward preparedness and survival. I can’t reproduce the article here, but it occurred to me that a summary might be helpful for some who find themselves leaning more and more toward preparedness blogs and sites for information, but aren’t yet quite sure what to make of the whole preparedness scene.
Silveira confesses that in the 1980’s he got caught up in end of the world scenarios—economic collapse, climate change, possibility of nuclear war, etc. (Sound familiar?) He stocked up on firearms, ammo, silver coins, food and supplies. One day it dawned on him that he was actually having fun with all of this prepping. The guns proved to be fun and interesting. Learning and making plans was better than TV. It was satisfying having a full pantry.
Having prepared for adversities made things a little easier when Silveira was laid off work for a time and when his wife took extended maternity leave. He still keeps plenty of survival supplies on hand, sort of like having a savings account. If, or when, things really do collapse, he believes he’s ready. That’s a good thing. After all, that’s what preparedness is about.
Many Americans are said to be putting back a little more in savings than they used to, when savings rates were actually in negative numbers. This ought to be seen as a good thing, since making purchases from money on hand means being more thoughtful about those purchases and not charging them on credit cards. Ironically, the media and the government want us to continue the ways of consumerism and buying on credit. But that just can’t continue for a number of reasons.
To repeat something we’ve often said here, getting supplies for survival is only part of the picture. Having the proper mindset or attitude is all important. As Silveira discovered, fear can give way to fun, satisfaction and enjoyment. Those into preparedness do what they do because the threats truly are real. It just so happens that now we’re seeing hardships coming to fruition, and many like Silveira are as ready as they know how to be.
Is it too late if you’re among those who didn’t see any of this coming? Not if you practice what author Robert ringer calls the salvage theory. Here’s an example. It’s 9:30 at night and your day hasn’t gone as you expected. You haven’t done what you wanted or intended to do. However, there is one small task you can start on. Take 15 minutes to work on it now, and you can do the rest another time. The point is, salvage whatever is left of the day, no matter how small it seems.
That’s how it is with survival and preparedness. Do what you can now. It may not be much, but simply get started. Don’t fret about what you haven’t been able to do yet. Don’t worry that you’re not as smart as the bloggers who expound wisdom and techniques you’ve never heard of before. Glean what you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You’ll be surprised how many are willing to help you. That’s because, as I’ve said before, people who practice preparedness for survival have optimism about things other than the status quo or the present system of things as we know them.
Follow John Silveira’s example. Prepare and discover how uplifting it is. Remember, survival really is about living.