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.