AKA Angrywhiteman commented on my last post (Some Advice for the New Year) that I had neglected to back up my claims with any factual references. He was absolutely right to call me out on the matter since the post before was about the ripple effect of perpetuating false or unverified information. His comment was well-meaning and had a humorous tone but his point was well taken. I spent a good while typing a response to his comment only to find that Blogger limits how much we can put in the comment box. So this post was born. I can't cite any references other than my own intellect and intuition but I will do my best to argue the validity of each of the points made in my previous post.
"The past year has sped by. Sometimes, we could barely keep up. "
The year did go by very quickly and was a very hard race to run in many respects ...at least for me. I think that's true for the country as well. Our rights and freedoms are being eroded on every front ...the government wants to control every facet of our lives. The issue of gun control has escalated to the real possibility of outright confiscation. Census workers are being taught to tell citizens that the authority for the questions they ask are granted by the U.S. Constitution. The census workers themselves (the two I talked to) were ignorant enough about the Constitution to believe it! (I gave them each a pocket-sized copy to read.) The government has long been involved in regulating big business including large agricultural concerns. But now they want to regulate backyard gardens and Farmers Markets. And when law-abiding citizens rally to make their objections heard, they are belittled by the likes of Nancy Pelosi. What did she say ...that we need to 'shut up and pay our taxes?' Excuse me?? The rate of spending by this administration makes the two Bush administrations look downright frugal in comparison. Already our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren will be paying the hefty price for this administration's first year in office. How many more of our future generations will be weighed down by overwhelming debt over the next three years??
"Now we need to be ready to face whatever lies ahead."
We stockpile the things we need because we see lean times ahead. Limitations of storage space force us to constantly weigh the difference between 'want' and 'need' and choose between the two. With every hike in the cost of fuel and food and utilities, we are again forced to choose carefully how we spend our dwindling resources. But being prepared to face what lies ahead is our fundamental philosophy on life as preppers, right? So 'nough said on that one.
"There are bound to risks and surprises."
We shouldn't expect all of them to be pleasant but we can't let them dissuade us either. Just fluff yourself up, bare your teeth and face the threat ...whatever it is.
"But we must press onward and upward."
YES, we absolutely SHOULD press onward and upward. If that itty bitty kitty can aspire to climb that great big tree, who are we to wimp out on our own life challenges?
"Always alert, always at the ready."
Alert and ready is, again, what we preach as preppers. You can't prepare for what you don't see coming. We have to pay careful attention to what goes on around us in our own towns as well as what goes on in Washington DC ...especially what goes on in DC! I believe in destiny but I'm not a fatalist. We can affect our own future in this world, but only if we are cognizant of opportunities as they present themselves and alert to dangers along the way.
"The Buddy System is still a good idea."
Didn't most of us first learn about the Buddy System in Kindergarten? Some of the best things are taught in kindergarten....someone did a poster on that once. Having someone who will watch your back is such a comfort in troubled times. The extremes of life, the best and the worst times, are best when shared with a true friend.
"Charge over obstacles."
Perhaps I should have labeled that picture 'Leap of Faith.' If we didn't have to make a bit of a leap from time to time, where would our faith be? We need to believe in our God-given abilities and charge ahead!
"Know where your feet are at all times."
Do you know why why mules are better than horses in treacherous terrain? Because a mule can actually SEE where each of his feet are and will never willingly put himself in real danger. If the mule you're riding is careful not to get hurt, chances are he won't get you hurt either. That is why a mule has the reputation for being surefooted. But that is also why a mule has the reputation for being stubborn. A horse's eyes are placed differently, creating a blind spot directly in front of the horse for a distance of several feet. Yet a well-trained horse has such trust and confidence in their rider that they'll willing charge full speed ahead or turn on a dime at the slightest cue from the rider. The horse is an example of the kind of faith WE ought to have in our Master.
It is important to be cautious if we are to overcome obstacles. But we can't let caution make us afraid to get our feet wet. We can't succeed if we don't try.
"Face your Goliaths."
We each have our own Goliaths, some of us have several. It might be an outside influence (or person or circumstance) that would control our destiny or limit our joy ...if we let it. The toughest Goliaths though are the ones that dwell within us ...the fears and self-doubts that dampen our enthusiasm for all life has to offer and rob us of our fullness of joy. These Goliaths are the hardest to fight but they are also the most rewarding to overcome.
"But remember to laugh often."
Wasn't it the late Art Linkletter who said 'Laughter is the Best Medicine' ...he wrote a book by that title, I believe. He was absolutely and profoundly right. A good belly laugh exercises every muscle in the trunk of your body, including your heart and lungs. It does wonders for your outlook as well. Learning to laugh at yourself is an art worth acquiring.
"Stick together through thick and thin."
Ahh, sticking together. That seems to be a lost concept these days. People seem ready to throw it all away every time they hit a a few snags. They have stress at work and they want to look for another job. Their vehicle that they paid off two years ago needs a costly repair and they would rather trade it in for a new one. Divide that costly repair estimate by the average monthly car payment and it won't seem so bad. But in with the old, out with the new has been the trend for decades now. When did we learn as a society that the most valid response to a problem is to run away? That's exactly what we teach countless others when we do that with our own problems. Every action we take (or don't take) sends a message to those around us about what's 'normal' ...what's acceptable and appropriate. I think we owe it to ourselves to work at our problems and we owe it to the younger generation (who IS watching) to set an example of courage, tenacity and perseverance.
"And most of all, take good care of each other."
This one really speaks for itself, doesn't it? A relationship ...whether it's friendship or marriage or a co-worker ...should NOT be just a 50-50 proposition. It should be 100-100....if you BOTH commit 100 percent of yourself to taking care of the other party, everybody is happy, everybody is secure. That's how it ought to be, don't you agree?
I guess now you can see why this didn't quite fit in the little comment box! I realize that I have not cited any but myself as a reference on these matters. But I do believe I made some pretty convincing arguments. : )