A Word About Survival Terms

Once when I was interviewed by James Talmage Stevens, author of Making the Best of Basics, he made a distinction between self reliance and self sufficiency. I’ve seen similar thoughts pop up on survival and preparedness blogs from time to time and thought I’d throw my two cents in the mix.

I suppose if you got out a dictionary and took each definition to the limit, there’s something to quibble about. While it’s true that none of us can be 100% self sufficient—it’s said that no man is an island–we can certainly work toward that goal.

Likewise, none of us will ever be sinless, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for good behavior.

Frankly, I don’t make a fuss about preparedness or survivalism vs. self reliance. Our ancestors were self reliant out of necessity, which also made them prepared for all kinds of things. So I figure preparedness and self reliance go hand in hand. It’s a lifestyle that calls for a survival an attitude or mindset.

Whatever terms you use, it comes down to this. Being prepared for short term crisis is necessary, but if that’s all you do, it’s short sighted. Being prepared to live in a world that’s slowly coming apart means getting ready for life to change as we’ve known it, and that’s the wiser course.

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

3 thoughts on “A Word About Survival Terms”

  1. Agreed. Though I am one who has raised the question with friends to see what differences in definition exist, everyone basically knows what the goal is regardless of the word used. Whatever time we might spend debating the issue would be better spent actually doing something.

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