Pondering Prepper Ignorance

Perhaps you’ve heard it said that it’s not what you don’t know what will kill you. It’s what you do know that’s wrong. Someone has said, “The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise.”

I saw that quote in an article called “We Are All Confident Idiots,” by David Dunning.

So today I’m pondering prepper ignorance. Many of us–no matter what our level of prepping–have a lot to learn. And that’s OK. Don’t try to bluff your way through if you don’t know something because ignorance could kill you.

Don’t know much about gardening? Food storage? Firearms? Building a prepper group? Ask questions.

Thankfully, there’s a plethora of info out there these days online and in books. Sorting out the good from the bad can be a challenge. So seek out someone you trust for guidance.

I suppose I’m speaking in rather vague terms here, but what I’m trying to get across is a key component of the survival mindset. Let me take a step back and try to explain.

My late friend Gerald Franz allowed me to be ignorant and not be ashamed of it. It didn’t do any good to act as if I knew more about a given topic than I did. I had to learn to admit ignorance if I was going to glean some new gem of understanding. Gerald could either teach me about something or point the way for me to find answers for myself.

He and I agreed ignorance is not bliss, but there’s no harm in being vulnerable enough to admit when you are indeed in need of enlightenment. Why put up self-imposed roadblocks to learning?

It’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” Don’t feel intimidated by a lack of knowledge. Look at it as an opportunity to ask questions and seek out new understanding.

On the other hand, if you’re approached by a prepper who doesn’t know as much as you do, be gracious and invite inquiries. Just teach, and remember where you once were on the learning curve yourself.

What’s more, if you don’t know something you’ve been asked about, admit it. Then you and your student can make discoveries together.

But this isn’t only about learning new things. Those of us who have been around the block a good number of times have likely discovered how many things that we learned previously were wrong. We have to unlearn and relearn. That’s not a bad thing, but it means being teachable and adaptable to new truths.

For example, this isn’t the America we were taught it was when we were growing up. The world has changed and become more hostile. We must let go of foolishly held idealism and face reality as it now is. We may become disenchanted. But, as the apostle Paul wrote in several of his letters, be strong and of good courage.

With all that said, I don’t claim to be the ultimate prepper expert. There are many things I don’t know. I still have much to learn myself. Therefore, on this site and on DestinySurvival Radio, I try to find those with knowledge to help you along your prepping journey.

Truth is wherever you find it. Take advantage of that. Don’t be afraid to admit ignorance. Take the next step–even if it’s a baby step–and get the answers you need for you and your family.

And whatever you do, keep prepping.

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.