A few weeks ago I heard that National Geographic was going to run a show about Doomsday Preppers
I'm fascinated with people who choose to live a lifestyle outside the "norm" and enjoy learning why they "do what they do." I hit record on my DVR and didn't think anything more of it. I watched the shows the other night and it bugged me enough that I don't think I'll be watching anymore of them.
Now, I don't know if it was how Nat Geo did the interviews or how the shows were edited. Perhaps it was the people they chose to interview, but watching this show made me more than just a little bit uncomfortable.
I'm kind of a live and let live kind of girl so I'm not criticizing these folks choice to arm themselves, to store bulk foods, to teach others about their concerns. I get the whole "be prepared" aspect. I'm living it myself!
I'm building a garden and investing in fruit trees. I'm learning to can, I'm buying in bulk, squirreling away food so I have a bit of a back stock. I do all of these things so I'm prepared in case of an emergency but also because it just makes financial sense to do so. It's not that hard to reap the benefits that a $2 seed packet can give you. It's just plan old common sense. I admire farmers or anyone who wishes to live a more self sustainable lifestyle. Again...It just makes sense to me to provide for yourself if you can.
From an emergency point of view we have a "go to" closet in case of a tornado. (It's a bit cluttered right now...put that on the list of things to get organized...) I have a few days of drinkable water set aside. If I knew a hurricane was headed our way I'd be filling up bathtubs and buckets. I hope to install rain barrels this year to help water the garden. I have candles and flashlights and I'm considering converting our gas log fireplace back to wood burning so we have heat in case of longer periods of power outages. Again, these efforts just seem like common sense to me.
What I don't have is paranoia. Am I concerned about big brother, financial collapse, war in the Middle East, peak oil...(Gosh is the list really THAT long?) Sure I am. But I'm not freaking out about it.
Most of the people in the show were what I would categorize as extreme preppers. (Pay attention to the shows title, Tami...It does say Doomsday Preppers for a reason.) Most. But not all of them.
They did highlight a couple who live on a farm and teach sustainability to others. I really liked this couple.
They seemed rational, well prepared and even told the Nat Geo "experts" that they wouldn't change a thing when the "experts" told them that they needed to be able to defend themselves against the "hoard" of evil people who were going to descend upon them should "the shit hit fan".
And THAT is what really bothers me about this whole "Doomsday Prepper" thing. The anticipated violence. Seriously. Are you really going to turn your back on someone who comes to you in need? Are you going to deny assistance to others who knock on your door? Shoot them because they're on your property? Really? You can do that? I'm not talking about someone who's there to hurt you or your family. That's self defense and I would do everything in my power to protect myself and my family. But if the chips were down and someone was stealing something from you because they were hungry or in need are you really going to shoot them? Can you do that and go to sleep at night? Because I couldn't.
Maybe I'm soft. Maybe I'm naive. But if Doomsday comes are you really going to want to live in that world where human decency is gone and everyone turns into a rabid animal hurting each other instead of helping each other?
That's the trouble with Doomsday, IMHO. The expected violence. Human decency out the window. This is mine and you can't have it. The breakdown of common sense and societal rules. It sounds like war. I suppose it would be. I've never lived through a war. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I did. But I just can't see trying to live in that kind of world. But is this a war that can be prevented? You bet.
Everyone should be prepared as much as they can be. But it can't be an individual effort and you can't isolate yourself from the world. No man is an island. We have to help each other. As a community we have to show others, by our words and actions, that being able to take care of ourselves is a good thing.
If your neighbor can sustain themselves then everyone benefits. We can be strong TOGETHER. Separately we'll fail. We might hold out a little longer than the next person but eventually you will fail. And that's what bothers me about all this. Once the dust settles, what do you have left? Your life...sure.
But will it be a life worth living? Good question.
This life that I'm living must be one of love, kindness and compassion. Positive thinking and positive living. It's how God put me together and if life after Doomsday can't offer me those things than it's not a life worth living. Not for me, anyway. So I expect that I'd be toast pretty quick. And that's OK with me. The "animals" are welcome to my garden after I'm gone.
Good luck with that.