Thursday, August 4, 2011

Passing Judgment

A friend put up a post several months back on 'armchair preppers' which, when I first read it, struck me as a little judgmental. Who are we to know the true reality of another's circumstances, or their means, or even their actions? But she made some valid observations which I've been pondering ever since.  Yeah, sometimes I think things to death and, depending on how deep the subject is, that can take a while.

One thing I've noticed is there are a whole lot of another type of prepper out there ...the loud and proud but standing in the back type.  They have a soapbox and they're not afraid to use it.  I call them the Loud and Proud Crowd, or LPCs for short.  They usually have quite a few followers.  Not sure if it's because they all agree with all the viewpoints, or just enjoy the show when the LPC gets wound up.

You know the ones. They have all the answers. They have it all figured out and if everyone would just do what THEY say, this whole runaway train that's in Washington DC would get back on track and we'd be America again.  Their own hands always seem to be tied, of course.  They are caught between the proverbial rock and hard place ...powerless to follow their own advice because of this or that in their personal circumstance.  But I thought the very basic premise of prepping was having a proactive, take-the-bull-by-the-horns approach to life.  It's the goose-gander conundrum.  What's good for the one seems only to be good for the other if it's convenient to be so.   

I know the world is full of all kinds of people and every one of them has their own set of circumstances and their own set of options and limitations based on their abilities or finances or even their geographic location.  I know that what Yeoldfurt and I consider a problem might be a total non-issue for others.  I know that how we decide to solve a particular problem might be the absolute last route someone else would take in our circumstances.  To each his own.  No one knows our needs, our abilities, our resources and our limitations better than we do.  I try to only offer advice if it's asked and I make a concerted effort not to be offended if the advice is declined or ignored.  I firmly believe we are each in charge of our destiny and, as such, we each own full responsibility for our lives and well-being, which brings me to a tangent line of thought ...welfare mentality.

There is an entitlement mentality in this country that started with food stamps and medicaid and has morphed into Earned Income Credit (tax-free cash grants to households under certain income levels), housing assistance (HUD) and daycare assistance (CCMS).  A lot of the households taking advantage of these programs are two-income households that are simply living above their means.  They use food stamps to buy their food so they can use more of their paycheck to buy what they want ...booze, cigarettes, in some cases illicit drugs.  They jump through hoops every three months with government paperwork so they can get subsidies on their rent and, again, have more money to spend on things they want like acrylic nails or fancy cell phones or a new tattoo.

In my opinion, all of this gimme-gimme-gimme-you-owe-me attitude for decades is one of the main reasons we're having government-mandated healthcare shoved down our throats today.  Enough of the general population is finally indoctrinated to believe government welfare is the norm.  Instead of only applying for assistance where there is real need, many people are applying simply because it's available and they know how.  Word gets around, you know?

It's sad for our country because, contrary to popular belief, there is no magical money tree ...the government can only dole out what it first extracts from our pockets. And it's even sadder for the children growing up in homes where welfare has been the norm for several generations.  What lofty aspirations can they possibly have? 

I am grateful to have grown up in a home where my parents worked hard to provide for our needs, took good care of what we had, and saved for the things the family wanted.  We lived within our means every day and when the family could afford to have or do something special, it was that much more special and memorable.  I hope Yeoldfurt and I are neither 'armshair preppers' nor fall in with the 'LPC' types.  I hope we are just one household doing the best we can to better ourselves and our circumstances with what resources we have available. I hope that if the priorities we set and the decisions we make about how to handle different things differ from those of our readers, that they won't interpret the differences as judgment on our part.  It's not my intention to pass judgment on anyone.  You do what works for you, we'll do what works for us and we'll both accept full responsibility for the outcome.


  1. I followed the link and read her post and it's a pretty scathing post in areas...but she's right about a lot of it.

    It did cause for some introspection on my part, but I feel like I live what I post and I post what I live and that I'm pretty much authentic and up front about what I do and who I am.

    I think that's what irritates her most about the LPC...inauthenticity.

  2. I read the same post, and the point is valid, there are a number of hypocrites who seek the lime lite, who want to "feel good" so they will say or print whatever seems fresh to meet that goal. Hypocrites are hypocrites, the world is full of them, and they are always self serving. My quarrel is the feel good advice can be dangerous to those taking it because it is untested and passed along the feel good grapevine because it seems right.
    I also have a certain problem with those who prep through the use of food stamps and food banks, living of of government extortion and the charity of well meaning people as though they have it coming.
    It is my hope that they will be able to rise above that level of thinking.
    Have a great day!!

  3. Andres...
    I count Lamby as a friend and think she made many excellent points. That's why it's taken all these many months to mull it over. I think you're very authentic too ...I try to be. I think those of us who are probably far outnumber the 'armchair preppers' and LPC's in blogworld. Those guys are the exception, not the rule. It's just that the 'exceptions' to whichever extreme are usually the ones you hear about the most.

  4. AKA...
    I agree. I think people become bigger than life in their own minds when they see their own words, their own opinions in print. A few followers latch onto their blogs and the implied popularity goes to their head and their opinion of themselves swells even more. A fist fight usually draws a crowd pretty quick, but that doesn't mean everyone is admiring the fist-to-cuffers. It's just 'Jerry Springer' on the street.

  5. Thanks, Stephen.

    I think hypocrisy and being judgmental are pitfalls we all struggle with from time to time. I know I do. I do my best to keep me honest but I can be a handful at times ...even for me.

    : )

  6. I hadn't noticed a lot of that. I haven't read the post in question, and I don't actually read a whole lot of blogs, just about 20 that I read consistently. I enjoy hearing the plans people have, and I put the time in to read blogs because I almost always learn something. I've been a survivalist for a LONG time , but it's the discipline of preparing to support yourself and your group 100%, so it covers a wide variety of subjects. Many of them are areas I have no inherent expertise in, like medicine. Anything I can learn, I'm glad to do so. Maybe I've just been fortunate in my reading selection.

  7. This is a great post. I know I came across as a bit judgmental...okay, a LOT judgmental, but I posted that after running into a couple of people in real life that had impressed on my fella their "prepper mentality" and then he was shocked to find out neither one was what they purported. As far as the LPC crowd...I read several blogs and I have noticed that whether the autor be conservative or liberal, they all *know* how to straighten out the country and/or the world...if ONLY everyone would listen to THEM! I rarely post about politics, as the whole political process these days *ticks me off* and I have no earthly clue on how to fix it. (Does anyone?)
    Like you, I trudge along, doing what I can for myself and my family. Some days I do well, other days I miserably fail. (Still kicking myself for one of my hens dying doing our heat wave...and my garden failing this year...I am so upset still about that!)
    You are the *real deal* lady...I read your blog and I can *feel* you, if you know what I mean. I still wonder and worry a bit on how the heck are you going to get all those overtime hours in without working yourself into the ground! (Repeat to yourself.."There are only 24 hours in a day...there are only 24 hours in a day"...)
    I am a bit of a harsh person. I can get really harsh on occasion. But when I see (or read of) a person that is actually TRYING as opposed to those with the *entitlement--gimme-gimme* attitude, I can tell the difference.
    Lets hear it for those that TRY!
    Whether they succeed or fail, they put in an effort!

  8. Very interesting, we could all use some introspection I suppose especially when we put our thoughts and beliefs out there for everyone to ready.

    Right Truth

  9. I think the internet and blogging allow people to be who they are not. It's anonymous. You can create a persona, subjects, ideas, hobbies, or whatever suits your fancy. How does anyone know if I know what I'm talking about, if what I say about my life is true, if my interests posted are valid, or if I am portraying a realistic perspective of my life and interests? Maybe some people live vicariously through blogging. I don't know, I think you have to use discretion with all blogs you come in contact with.

  10. Arsenius...
    Like you, I enjoy finding out what other people are doing and how they do it and what the pitfalls might be ...I'm looking for useful information and constructive ideas. I wouldn't say either extreme ...the armchair types or the LPCs are in the majority, but they are enough in number to be noticeable. The few that I read regularly who would remotely fall into either of these categories are on mine or my husband's blogroll because, at one time, their subject matter was 90 percent how-to and why-to and 10 percent OMG. That ratio seems to have reversed for a couple of them but they still have good ideas from time to time.

    As a preacher once told me, 'eat the meat and pick out the bones.' I wouldn't drop them off my own blogroll because the ratio might revert back one day and they DO have good information once in a while ...I would never presume to suggest my husband drop anyone from his blogroll either. We are great as a couple, probably due in large part to our commitment to each other's autonomy when it comes to making some personal choices.

    : )

  11. Lamb...
    I thought your post way back when was great was thought provoking, enough so it took me all these months to process it and write this post. You're the real deal in my book. I'm not here to say that all of your ideas or right or wrong or would necessarily work for us ...but I know that you write about what you actually DO and when you run into snags or disappointments, you share those too. When you get comments that question your ideas or point out possible snags, you respond in a positive way ...not defensive and know it all. I have my blogroll set up to list the most recent posts at the top, but when I get a chance to catch up on my reading, I scan those several newer posts for the ones I want to read first. Since my interest is mostly geared to the how and why of things, your new posts are always one of my first choices.

  12. Debbie...
    You and Grouch are two of my fav news reads. The armchair types and LPCs are more into telling the rest of the world how to prepare for an all out financial and societal meltdown. Since they are into the 'how to' frame of mind, they tend to get egotistical from time to time and that's when they become part of the LPC. I don't mind people thinking their idea of how to do things is better than the other guy's ...heck, I think MY idea of how to do things is best or else I wouldn't do it that way, right? What I have a problem with is LPCs who spend more time spent trashing all the other ideas out than explaining or promoting their own. It becomes a competition and a popularity contest and it's juvenile, in my opinion.

  13. Rose...
    You are so right. I always remember a cartoon (might have been Farside or Maxine) I saw in the 90's depicted a pot-bellied, bald Archie Bunker type at one keyboard and a Maxine looking character at another keyboard somewhere in distant cyberspace. I don't remember the captions, but the gist was that HE was bragging to HER what a cool dude he was and she was bragging to HIM about what a hottie she was. Neither of which was remotely truthful.

    Your blog is the real deal to me too. I like what you say in your header about 'no more keeping up with the Joneses.' All of life is not a competition, or shouldn't be, and few things in life are one-size-fits-all.

  14. Hi, thanks for your visit. There sure is a lot going on in our country right now isn't there! It truly does take all types of people and I pray we can get it together and get things on a better track. :D

  15. Wow. I guess I missed this whole thing. Maybe I'll just keep it that way.

    I like what you post...that's why I come here.


    PS, I replied to your question by basically saying I'd jerk just about any meat out there. Wait, does that sound outta context? Well, you know what I mean, LOL.

  16. You didn't miss anything, OJD. There wasn't anything to miss. My friend was not snarking at me in her post all those months ago and I'm sure not snarking at her now. We're friends ...birds of feather, like-minded and all that. The observations she made in her post just got me to thinking and it took me all this time to gel MY observations into some kind of logical order. That's all this post is take on some of the prevalent attitudes in blog world.

    Thanks for the response on your post. I relayed to Yeoldfurt that you told me you'd 'jerk just about any meat out there' and he cracked up. Then I told him the rest about the out of context and all. Never let a humorous quote go to waste.

    : )

  17. Sorry to leave this here - but didn't know how else to contact you! thanks so much for coming to my blog and leaving such kind are so right about the horse! So right! I will go again!