Guest Post: A Survivalist Mindset Amongst Apathy

Apathy is described as a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation, and passion. Over the course of these last couple of years I’ve found myself more inclined, empowered by a sense of urgency and righteousness in my beliefs, to speak with others, sometimes at great length, about my views concerning preparedness and the necessity of possessing a survivalist mindset. Often, my concerns seem to be better received outside of my most intimate inner circle of friends and family. Perhaps that same intimacy that brings about the emotional and physical bond we often share, is a detriment to my ability to convince those I most wish to convince: my truly apathetic loved ones, of the real perils that await the unprepared. Familiarity does, indeed, often breed dissent.

Casual strangers, or mere acquaintances, will usually indulge my opinions about the impending decline of our world as we know it–at least until they get that “glazed-over look” that tells me they have since tuned me out, and are concentrating their focus on something more important…like who the latest front-runners for American Idol might be; or what Snookie (Jersey Shore) said or did on their latest trashy episode.  Now don’t get me wrong–I seldom, if ever, initiate any conversation regarding the virtues of preparation with anyone I don’t know well; I have simply found the task to be far too frustrating in most cases. It has become my conclusion that the uninformed prefer to stay that way, believing instead that all will turn out well in the end, and that our government won’t let them down when disaster once again strikes. Even pointing out the somewhat recent “Katrina/New Orleans” debacle does little if anything to deter their unwavering faith in the system. They simply see the general lack of preparedness by both the citizens of New Orleans and our federal government as an aberration, a glitch, a hiccup that will never happen again. I cannot help but wonder if the people of New Orleans–those that suffered through the storm and it’s terrible remnants, and choose to remain there to this very day–still have as much faith in their elected and appointed officials as they did pre-Katrina. Hmm…I wonder?

The informed and apathetic are, however, a different breed of cat. These people are generally educated and well informed of what goes on, globally as well as at the local level. They cannot, sadly enough, be classified or pigeon-holed into one neat little compartment of naysayers and denialists any more than Survivalists, Preppers, New World Order Theorists, and Neocons can be all categorized as End-of-The-World Kooks or Chicken Little Alarmists. They have the truth; the handwriting is on their wall just as it is on ours. The difference of opinions, I believe, can be boiled down to one basic and most fundamental tenet: since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and, most recently, the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center, and The Pentagon, most Americans have never had their White Castle dreams of isolation and insulation–thus protection from the evils of the rest of the world–put to any real test. They have seen the tragedies and horrors of wars taking place thousands of miles away, in lands and cultures unrecognizable to their own. But those wars would NEVER happen here! We are the U.S. of A, for God’s sake!

Truth be told, I don’t even mind the skepticism and the mocking raised eyebrows of both the informed or uninformed. They have their choices, as do I. What really hurts are the comments from those whom I love the most, would give my very life for, and whom I intend on protecting, despite their lack of belief. When I hear my wife say to a friend or neighbor or fellow family member, when speaking of my passion for all things preparedness, “Oh, that’s just Rob doing his little hobby thing,” I want to scream out, “Wake up, honey! This isn’t my “little hobby.” This is me maybe saving our skins when the SHTF!”

I will continue with my preparations. I will persevere despite the majority of people thinking I’m the crazy one. I will invest as much as it takes to offer my family and loved ones as many opportunities to survive as I possibly can. And, if it never comes to that, then all the better for all of us. Better to be prepared and not need it, than to need it and not be prepared.

RobNPhx

 


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10 Comments

  1. I have very similar experiences. People seem to need to believe in their story about reality more than they need to pay attention to what is happening all around them. They hang on by their fingernails to the belief that the government, scientists, etc, will figure something out so that we can live the life we have been taught that we are entitled to. Most of us have really become the living dead–passive, easily led via the latest toy (TV/smartphone/etc). I agree with you that the only approach that really works is to make the right choices for our families day to day to prepare for what increasingly seems like a sure collapse.
    Of course, that doesn’t always translate seamlessly into buying the missing weapon of an arsenal, or that second six months’ worth of dehydrated food, if a spouse is equally involved in managing the budget….It is interesting, though, that some people I’ve talked to in the past few years seem to be waking up a bit, especially after the disaster in Japan. That includes my 83-year-old mom, and my brother who has usually managed to be on the opposite side of most political arguments from me.
    Thanks with sticking with your blog and sharing your thoughts.

    • Phil –

      Thanks for the comments.

      Last night I got back from the Sensible Prepper Conference and had a long talk with my wife. She seemed accpting and listened – but I didn’t get a whole lot of feedback. I looked at it as step in the right direction.

      More steps coming.

      Rourke

  2. Rob, I know the feeling. I usually get a better response from people I barely know than from my family. They all sit back and think that our government will come to the rescue when things get bad or that It could never happen on US soil. We have become so insulated from reality that we figure that nothing bad can happen to us. It only happens to those other poor souls somewhere else. Although I have notice an upsurge in the amount of people that I have seen on a Saturday out getting food storage and gear. The saddest part is the fact that with all their preps most never include skills as part of those preps. I guess they figure if they have the stuff that should be enough to keep them alive. Sadly they have now idea how most of the stuff works and the single worst time to try and figure out how it does work is when the SHTF. I guess that is how natural selection works huh?

  3. Very well written and shared sentiments. I consider myself a late bloomer to preparedness and the importance of being wise in all ones doing, especially with the handwriting just about leaping off the walls and happening right under our noses in plain day light. I think what really snatched the scales from my eyes was the election of 2000 and there after. What a wake up call that was for me both spiritually and physically as to what really is going on in this world, having just settled back for years watching and being dubbed some dooms day theorist. I have to speak out about preparing, stocking up, etc. As spiritually grounded person, my analogy of preparing would be the biblical parable of the ten virgins with their oil lamps. Five were wise and five were foolish. For me that oil in that lamp represents whatever power you will need when the time comes to put into action all who have blown the shoffar to warn those apathy folks, including our own love ones. When the poop hits the USA fan as it will sooner than soon — they will seek us out for shelter.

    Good post!

  4. The most frustrating ones for me are those who understand something bad is coming, but have nothing but excuses for why they can’t do anything to prepare. Who spend all they have on the frivolous and complain how they can’t afford to get ready for disasters.
    I share my knowledge with anyone who will listen. This gives them all the same chance as me to get ready, if they don’t choose to pay any heed, their fate is of their own choosing. I won’t feel obligated to rescue the grasshopper.

  5. RobNPhx,
    Don’t fret about it. It is what it is! There are some who will NEVER get it. Keep doing what you KNOW is right. Thankfully, My wife is just as passionate about this as I am. You are part of an elite group of Americans; those who want to take personal responsibility and refuse to accept anything that you can’t get yourself. If the SHTF, those who are NOT prepared will wish that they were and it WILL be too late!
    Thunder 7

  6. I live in Hawaii. After the Japan earthquake we had to evacuate our coastal house and literally head for the hills. Though we were packed and gone in twenty minutes, the process was puctuated with complaints from my better half regarding the need to take the emergency food, shelter, water, weapons, money, etc.
    About a week after the tsunami warning, she returned from visiting a friend with the declaration that she now understood my steadfast position on emergency supplies. Reports from Japan that daily rations for the affected area were limitied to a square of rice with a piece of spam and a bottle of water. She still thinks I go overboard, but is a willing participant in many of my preparations.
    Once people are exposed to reality and the normalcy bias is shattered, they will become willing particapants.

  7. Based on your subject and skill in writing about it- IMHO- you win. Back in the day (the end of ww2 & the cold war) the vast majority had at least some understanding in the need to be prepared for possible bad times ahead.Today It’s easy to understand the apathy of most because most just don’t pay attention. Just look at who we pick to lead us, or watch the news. It really is a sad state of affairs but we all know this. I think there would be many more people preparing for the bad times ahead except that for them the bad times are now. Hard to worry about surplus food when your trying to put bread on the table today. Make a choice- buy more ammo or pay your kids doctor bill so they can go back when they get sick again? I know it sounds simplistic but for many it’s just a fact of life. I for one do believe that being more prepared and self-reliant is going to continue to grow in popularity (if there’s time) and thats a good thing.

  8. Besides being willing to do the unpopular thing, prepping requires attention, money and other resources, intelligence, and time. It draws these things from the descretionary budget (recreation, vacation, toys, entertainment etc.). To some folks, prepping seems depressingly like life insurance (a bet you win, when you die!); or a permanent part time job you pay to work at, and only pays back if the world goes to hell. Some people, who could easily see the need to prepare, do not look. These folks don’t listen to us, because if they did, they would have a new job they don’t want; and have to give up some (or all) of what they enjoy in life. They have made their choice to enjoy life now and not listen to “negative thoughts”. Ie. grasshopper vs ant.

    Then, there are people like a couple that live nearby, who, between them have two full time, and three part time jobs and are saving for a house. Their kids are usually at a relative’s, i rarely see anyone home, and they have no time (or are too tired) for a long conversation if i do. People who are trying to win at “the red queen’s race” are understandably hard to talk to about prepping.

    Family are the worst though. Some are in both of the above groups! Others have been out of work for years and have all they can do to survive now. One has admitted the need, and made some baby steps. But, since i have talked to them about it, i suspect a few to show up, uninvited and unprepared when SHTF.

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