A Survivalist Mindset Amongst Apathy

Rourke: The following was originally published HERE on ModernSurvivalOnline.com.


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.




baofeng, UV-5R, radio, communication, survival, prepper, preparedness

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  1. Dear Rob Good post-thanks !!! Yes most of us
    serious preppers seem to be challenged by family members that are in denial.Give your wife time though and when any interruption of services occurs-be it weather or sickness- or
    etc. she will see how well you have prepared and hopefully will give you credit when the SHTF.
    I feel with you but keep up the good work !! Arlene

  2. This is perhaps the single most recurring theme I see in prepping. Your eyes have been opened, you’ve choked down the red pill, things are not as they seem. You want to scream at people to WAKE UP! But the image of being straight-jacketed and loaded into the back of a van convinces you to be more tactful. Instead you decide to quietly prepare, and warn your loved ones and your friends. Your cautious, even gentle in your approach, no one likes a prophet of doom.

    What your really worried about is to daunting to openly speak of, so you warn of storms, of fragile power grids, of temporary job loss. You offer up documented examples why they would be smart to prepare, if just a little, rather than depend on others. Hugo, Katrina, Sandy. The housing bubble and economic collapse of 2008. Your efforts are met with nodding heads, rolling eyes, shrugs and frustration.

    Most of us have been through it, we fail 99.9% of the time. People just don’t see the value or need in prepping until they’ve been through some crises of their own and even then many won’t. Many simply don’t have a sense of self preservation and never will. In the most basic of realities today, if any catastrophe, revolution, war, terrorist strike or epidemic breaks the link between those who provide the food and those who eat it, within 2 weeks people in cities will be eating each other. This is a reality that your friends and family do not want to be convinced of.

  3. I have given up on trying to get people motivated. All it does is expose me as a good place to go if they need help. The last time I tried to make someone see the writing on the wall was the last. He was a friend that lives in Florida, but works most of the year in NYC. He was there when Sandy hit and was lamenting that he had no food or gas in the car and no body was open to sell anything for miles around. He stated he sure hopes that he never goes through another situation like that. I started by asking him what he had done to have a better turn out next time and he basically said nothing. I told him some of the things he should be doing at a minimum to make sure he is better off next time and he was shocked that I might have all these things. He stated that it was good to know he had a place to go if things got bad, to which I told him I would be closing the gate and boarding up the house. No one, including him, would be coming in if things got bad. He was flabbergasted that I would not share with others if things went south and people were hurting. This is a guy with a wife and one teenage daughter, living in a 3,000+sf home with 4 cars including a brand new Mercedes and a large SUV, and a motorcycle, but doesn’t have enough food in the house to last a few days. I would have been more than willing to show him how to get at least somewhat ready, but he saw no need to waste the time and money. After a few episodes like this, I started wondering how many others these types of people have told and who may be looking to come to me for help after the fact.

  4. RobNPhx, This is a great post. I have had many similar experiences with both friends and family. The most recent was with members of my church where I was announcing an Emergency Preparedness class we were having. When I ask for any questions or comments, one of the congregation turned and stated “If there’s a disaster, we’re just coming to your place”. Without thinking, I blurted out “Bring body armor”, which brought about a bit of laughter. Again I blurted “Not kidding”. I then reminded them that the manner of their arrival will determine the manner of their welcome. They ask what I meant and I said, “If you have been invited to the ongoing Emergency Prep classes we have been having for years, and never come, or if you refuse to prepare for disasters or emergencies, then you better come with something to barter with. Don’t come ready to take what you have not earned or are not prepared to offer something of value in exchange for. I have a family to protect and that means protecting their ability to survive as well.” It was very quiet after that, but I got my point across I hope.

  5. Today…for the first time in years. I decided to partake in some of the little freebies offered to veterans.I just thought, “you know, I will go get a free coffee and a nice small breakfast.” Fully intending to tip over the free meal. I’ve never taken part before, because when I went into the military it was for honor, service, and my country. It was something I choose to do. I was not looking for an gratitude and still not, but what happened really almost put me to tears.

    For breakfast I called ahead to see if I needed to bring my DD-214 or something and they said no just come in. I took the day off for once. Something I’ve never done. I took a break from the rush. I went and got that free coffee. Then mozied down for breakfast. I sat down, I ordered the meal, and then something happened. In this restaurant which only had few people in it at the time an older senior, (notice I just said older, not old)walked over and said I noticed you ordered the veterans meal. She had a red, white, and blue jacket, thanked me for my service. I gratefully thanked her, we chatted, and as it turned out her family were also previous Marines. She went back and sat down. I picked up my cell phone. Just kind of viewing the area as I always do, her breakfast was brought to her. Her and her husband began to eat,….but then…out of no where as I was staring at the phone.

    She brought me over a plate of pancakes and said here young man. This will get you started. I was shocked and started getting emotional inside. I humbly thanked her and started eating them…but then as I was eating the pancakes she walked over and said here. Don’t forget the blueberries and handed me a small bowl of blueberries. Now that pushed me over the edge. I didn’t lose it, but I started tearing up. Not only did this women go out of her way to thank me, she went out of her way to feed me, even more…she went ever further to bring that extra %10. I’m pretty confident this was my first and last time ever partaking, but it was an experience I will never forget. May you/we never forget those before us who gave their lives for us. Thank you…all of you veterans and family of veterans!

    You know the older generation was a generation that never quit. The problem is this is a soft generalization now and quit on everything. They really don’t know any pain like most of us here, their soft. Don’t you be soft. Pain is temporary. It may last a day, it may last a week, it may last years. But eventually it will subside and something will take it’s place. If I quit however, it will last forever. AND MAY WE NEVER give up!!!


    • Thank You for your service Capt.Michaels, i know what you did, what ALL of you have done will never be understood or appreciated well enough to make up for the sacrifice made. The only ones who can are the ones who have served….You are also the only ones who have a clue about what is coming and we look to you for the help we need. For such a time as this, you are in the gap once again….fighting the frustration to get us ready. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE ! Don’t give up on us…your service has kept this country free but the job’s not done, we are right behind you trying to keep up. Thank you ALL for your service….may the blessings of God wash over you all, renewing you with hope and keep that fire inside you burning bright.

    • Thanks Capt for passing this on to all of us and thank you for your service! Also – the video you left I have been looking for all day. Thanks.

  6. OPSEC. I’ve tried until I have run out of steam to bring the facts to folks around me. I will not talk with strangers at all. The last time I attempted to talk with my sister-in-law, I even had Ted Koppel’s book to loan her. Her response was…”I can’t stand to read or hear anything about this. It scares me to death.” Other responses I’ve heard were to the tune of …”it will never happen here.” So, I’ll continue to prepare. If it doesn’t happen before I check out, I’ll leave everything to my doubting children. But my days of trying to convince anyone that the bottom could fall out for any number of reasons has ended. And by the way, I will stand in the door to deny access to all but my immediate family even if the others were some that I attempted to enlighten.

  7. As mean as this sounds. It’s Darwinism, survival of the fittest. You can only attempt to help others. It’s a lot like trying to rehab them from drugs and alcohol. They know, they just won’t do anything about it. We all make choices and live with the consequences. They are like children. Don’t try to force them only encourage them. Some will act, some will react. Live with the knowledge that you tried to help.

  8. Capt. Buddy thank you . .One.. for doing what you did for us. Two.. for doing it for no other reason than it was the right thing to do, and not expecting anything in return, even though you deserve more than you are getting. Selfless acts are pretty rare. Glad you made it.. some didn’t and thanks to them to. Our children forget easily the cost of freedom, so we should remind them. Not for thanks, but the responsibility the bare for the privilege of freedom. And you know it plays into what else article was saying. If you have no concept of the cost of freedom, you take it for granted like the next breath. You make decisions differently if you ever experience not having the next breath. You go out of your way to make decisions that don’t let that happen. We have no national concept of what a loss of freedom means. Many of our veterans do. They have seen other countries and fought there instead of here to prevent that in the USA. Perhaps why so many of the most adamant advocates for freedom are veterans. and preppers. It isn’t rocket science but fear, laziness, stupidity .. apathy make getting your point understood impossible for some if not most, because they would have to DO something. Nanny states don’t want that.
    So for the folks we try and talk to that we are close to and want with us. For some it is their choice, all of them actually.
    Terms like “a prophet in his own town is without honor”, “can’t lead a horse to water”, “Emperor’s new clothes” .. and the list is endless and as timeless as humankind. It’s easy to see it as natural selection in the abstract, but harder when it’s one of ours.

    I suppose I could harden my heart and tie off the wound, but I won’t where that is concerned. I’ll care for mine whether they want me to or not because that is my Job and the right thing to do. For the others I have advice only. OPSEC is right.. I’ve about stopped talking about it unless they bring it up. I really don’t want anyone knowing much about me unless I want them to. I tell people I am learning to farm like my grandfather .. and that is 99% true .. if they bother to get to know me an ask.

    Lastly .. I don’t have to ask anyone permission to protect whomever I choose.. and they don’t have to appreciate it. No matter how anyone wants to see it, the truth is still the truth, not a version of it. Doing the right thing is always right, not always easy. Besides what if we get it wrong and nothing happens.. nothing. but what happens if we get it right?

    Thanks guys and gals.. keep the faith!

  9. Capt. Michaels-Thank you for your service and
    all the veterans out there. My father served in WWII, my husband served in the Cuban Blockade.Capt M your post brought me to tears.
    I am the kind of patriot who flies our beloved American flag every day and who has one on my vehicle.I get a lump in my throat every time I hear God Bless America.
    Re Preparedness- my daughter called and said her whole town was w/o power for 12 hours but she had all her supplies in and was “prepared”.
    “You can never save another from themselves”Its their choice to prepare or not.
    When I see fruit rotting on t he ground in peoples yards because people are too lazy or busy to pick it up and use it then they havent any right to complain if they are hungry. Arlene

    We can prepare

    • My father was in the Cuban block aid too Arlene, that’s nice to have that in common. My grandmother on my Dad’s side had pictures in the hallway of ohana who served, She called it “the hall of heroes” As a kid I asked who they were, she explained who each was and there story, she told me one day my picture will be among them and that as first borne (Hiapo) of my Dad is was my job to remember all of these and to pass it down to my generations and family.

  10. Thank you my fellow vets for your service and continued watchful eye. May continue to stand our watch vigilantly as sheepdogs of the constitution

  11. CaptM, thank you and all our veterans and current service for their service. I keep seeing that if anything happens in this country up to 250,000,000 will perish, is the denial of something bad happening one of the major reasons?

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