Okay, I get it…there are lots of problems in the world today. There are plenty of problems in our country today…and getting worse by the hour. You can scan the headlines on any news or prepper website and get a huge dose of depression…if that is what you are looking for. I do, I get it…it appears that it is the “end times”…as a case could be made.
Now, let me share with you three lines from a 2-day old personal email I received from Dennis…
“I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I LOVE it. [It’s] not fear porn, as a matter of fact, you keep discouraging that. Thank you for doing what you do, may God bless you going forward.”
His email made stop and think about a problem right now and I wanted to address it. Did you see the message? He was calm, appreciative, and not expressing fear or panic.
Now, let me share with you the story of my newest neighbor. Last winter she was looking for a piece of property that would be a good place to ride out the impending apocalypse. She wanted a place with good neighbors, a sense of community, and out of the way of any marauding golden horde. She purchased a piece of property a couple hundred yards down the road from us. The property is a very decent piece that has lots of potential and can be both safe and productive…and a nice view to boot. She got a good price because she had cash. But then the problems started…all of her own making.
When we were introduced to her by a common neighbor shortly after her purchase, we invited her and her boyfriend to dinner. I need to mention that she is in her early 60’s, divorced, retired, and familiar with prepping. Her boyfriend at the time was a little sketchy.
Over appetizers, dinner, and a post-dinner visit we learned a lot. The primary motivation that she was experiencing, and driving her decision making, was both fear and panic. This was in late February and she was convinced that the world was coming to an end in about 6 weeks’ time. She knew the supply chain was going to seize up and stop entirely, and in the meantime the prices of home building supplies would soar 10 – 20 times their current price…then disappear from stores altogether.
So what did that mean to her in practical terms? She had to get something done right now, right away, before another day passed, because the world was about to end. Yup, fear and panic buying.
No amount of conversation with my wife and I had any meaningful impact on her to calm her fears and help her settle on a more realistic and practical plan. Why? Because who she was listening to, who her experts were, and who her information sources were. She was frequenting doomsday prepper websites, she was associating pretty much with only doomsday people who were also preppers, and she had this preconceived idea in her head regarding reality. Problem was…it wasn’t actual reality…it was her reality…it was all in her head rooted in false or misleading information, not fact-based.
So she ends up 7 months later with only a foundation for a house…and the foundation is terrible…looks like a 3-year old did it. She has most of the building supplies…but the lumber she bought was rough cut so it all has to be recut before it can be used. And it has been sitting out in the weather the entire monsoon season. Her driveway has washed out 3 times. She has no building crew. She has no well and no solar system. She isn’t living on her property yet but she does have 1/3 of the fence completed along the road frontage…that encroaches into the road easement and built with substandard materials. She is down to her last $50,000 and no idea when the framing will get started on the house. No electrical supplies, no plumbing supplies, and no roofing material. And worst of all…she has alienated almost all the neighbors due to her constant requests for help and ignoring recommendations.
So why do I share this with you? Because she started from a position of both fear and panic. And that led her to make horrible and very costly decisions.
For the last week I reviewed a lot of prepper websites and prepper YouTube videos. I read and saw so much absolute crap it was staggering. Everything from the government was making you register your garden with the USDA to the banks were closing now and to get all your money out immediately. And yes, even worse BS than that. And of course there was the usual secret insider information that no one else had access to.
And get this…a man I know, not well at all, ran into me at a local merchant and we chatted for a minute…then came the whispering. He has a friend who knows a retired Army Colonel who worked in Army intelligence. He said that there would be a catastrophic event that would shut down the entire country and cause its collapse within 2-weeks. Ahhhhh yeah, we had that conversation 3-weeks ago.
And I could go on but you know what I am talking about…and you have probably seen the same fear porn that I am talking about. I belonged to an online prepper community for about 10 years, left it several years ago. And over that 10-year span there were relentless predictions of a “catastrophic event that would shut down the entire country and cause its collapse”…and not a single one of them ever even came close to happening…not one…not even close!
Then there were the countless revelations of FEMA concentration camps that had already been built and awaiting citizens to be interned there. Ahhhhh, problem…no one was ever able to give the GPS coordinates to even a single camp…ever! And of course there were the periodic sightings of UN troops already being positioned in the US for the immediate takeover and occupation of the US. Then there were the pictures of military equipment being shipped via rail cars to US locations for the imminent implementation of martial law. Ahhhhh, no. It was normal shipments of military equipment along with National Guard equipment being shipped for training. And let us not forget the invasion of the US by China that a bunch of folks were convinced would occur…and soon (and still are). No amount of fact based information, no amount of reality, no amount of common sense, no amount of actual logistical fact would/could convince them otherwise.
Not only was all of it utter nonsense and not true…it only took up wasted hours and hours and hours of people’s time…and worse yet…it created a growing sense of stress, anxiety, fear, and panic with each new round of those BS crap discussions.
So I ask myself this morning why does this happen, why do people start that crap or participate in it? I think there are a number of reasons:
- The people who create this crap like to draw attention to themselves, sound important and think of themselves as relevant.
- People like to dwell on the obscure to avoid the demands of the here and now.
- It is an escape from reality…like watching a Stars Wars movie.
- It creates controversy, which in turn creates attention, which causes response. And that results in video views (which makes money) and causes increased discussion in forums (which makes money).
The real concern/issue is…when it comes to the prepper world it causes problems…BIG problems. Why?
- Causes distractions from what people should be doing.
- Causes anxiety and a sense of anxiousness…and that may lead to poor decision making.
- Can produce fear and panic in people…and that almost always leads to really bad decision making.
- Poor/Bad decision making leads to misdirection of valuable resources…such as buying anti-nuclear iodine pills vs expanding food storage…or wasting valuable time involved in nonsense issues.
So once again I am on my soap box speaking out against “fear porn” and those that promote it. I know there are problems right now, some of them rather big ones. And I am not saying to ignore those problems that are actually real and need your attention. To do so would be irresponsible and could well spell trouble.
What I am saying is to settle down, calm down, ignore all the static out there, quit listening to the doomsday folks, disregard the “insider information”, stop escaping reality for all the stupid junk being talked about. Pay attention to that still small voice inside you…but you can’t hear it very well with all the static swirling around in your head…and on your computer or phone screen. Get rid of the old static and ignore any new static.
Go about your prepping in a systematic and thoughtful way based on clear and valid principles. Make decisions based on reality, quality information from reliable sources, and never ever make decisions based on fear or panic. For if you do…those decisions will be bad decisions…and those decisions will waste your valuable time and your valuable resources.
Now is the time to focus…and stay focused. Don’t be stupid, and don’t make stupid decisions/choices. Do those things that you know are right and that make sense.
Some excellent words of wisdom…
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