I have seen that many non-preppers make comments such as “You must be hoping that TSHTF so you can justify spending all this money on all this stuff you have.” Another comment I have seen is “You must be pretty paranoid.”
Those are some of the nicer ones that can be published here. A significant remainder revolves around weaker, lesser people projecting their own actual lack of capability on to me as some sort of compensatory reaction for a massive flaw in my mentality or physiology. But I digress.
Do preppers want to see a world-ending scenario unfold? No, I believe that the VAST majority of preppers out there do not want some major disaster or event to occur. Non-preppers who perceive as much are likely just misinterpreting a prepper’s enthusiasm for learning new skills, and engaging in interesting activities as “doom-seeking.” A rare few individuals might pine for the apocalypse, but most prepper’s do not.
Whew, now with the rest of the post. If we are being honest, maybe this is a question that warrants a little further investigation.
I have said before that the worst mistake you can make is becoming a victim of your own frame of reference. The moment you stop rigorously questioning your assertions and beliefs is the moment you stop learning, and that means you stop growing.
In the sections below will explore what I think are a few possible reasons that folks who are outsiders to prepping show some trepidation, or even outright disdain towards people who choose to take radical and total responsibility for their own personal outcomes, rain or shine.
Excited People Over-share
Have you ever been around someone who was all fired up about a new undertaking or perhaps thoroughly engrossed in a hobby? It seems to be all they will talk about, and they’ll go on and on about it in excruciating detail!
Consider crossfitters, for instance. If you know anybody who has taken up the program and stuck with it you’re probably already acquainted with the vaguely disconcerting, almost cult-like influence it seems to have on their personality. They won’t stop shouting its benefits and singing its praises from the rooftops!
That’s a fair assessment all right, and in many ways preppers, especially new and excited preppers, will be similarly keen to share their undertakings, experiences and enthusiasm with other people- whether or not they are willing listeners.
These hapless listeners could be coworkers, family members, or friends who don’t necessarily have the same outlook and want the same things from their lives.
Now, think about this without bias. If somebody was taking extraordinary measures to get prepared for events and occurrences that you, perhaps rightly, would consider the end of the world and they were doing it with all of the excitement of a child heading towards Disneyland, what would you think?
You got it: I think it’s fair to say it could rustle your jimmies a little! It would appear to such a person that they were frankly excited about something terrible happening, and that sort of attitude is always gravely unsettling.
But, let us look at it in the correct context. A person who is prepping, especially one still pumped up on the “honeymoon period” of prepping is going to be doing lots of interesting, new things that might well serve as a sort of hobby for them.
They’ll be buying gear, getting outside, hiking, camping, working out, learning how to shoot a gun, learning how to spot bad guys, read a map and much, much more.
You have to admit, considering that most people lead pretty boring, sedentary lives this burst of new activity, engagement with brand new topics and exposure to new experiences and most importantly the great outdoors is probably going to get most folks revved up.
In short, I don’t think it is fair to say that people behaving in this way are eager or excited for doomsday, a major disaster or anything else.
It just so happens that they enjoy the work they are putting in and the learning taking place to get prepared for that event, and that those activities are in and of themselves entirely innocent and entirely enjoyable. You can’t fault them for wanting to tell their friends about it.
The True Test – Deliver, or Die
There is another facet to consider, one that I think many of my readers who are “driver” or A-type personalities will understand, especially men.
Every, single man wonders if he will be good enough to pass the test. If they can stand up to what life or his enemies can throw at him. He wonders if he will barely scrape by with his heart still beating or he will trounce them effortlessly and easily. For most people, this is nothing more than a passing, curious thought or a daydream fantasy at best.
But preppers are not “most” people. Preppers put in the time, money, and honest-to-goodness sweat equity to make sure they have the skills to pay the bills.
And let’s talk facts: they aren’t getting ready for the weekend amateur ballgame, tossing horseshoes at the family reunion or trouncing their nieces or nephews on the latest fighting video game.
No, they are getting ready for real life, no-shit events that will put their lives and the lives of their family members in danger- Serious business!
It is mildly ironic, then, that in much of the developed world those circumstances are vanishingly unlikely to occur, even on a small scale, personal level. A car accident, as bad as they are, is just about the most severe disaster that a person will have to endure.
Hey, that is bad enough, and reason enough to become proficient in both performance driving and basic trauma care! But more to the point the great, big, slam-bang apocalypse that topples societies and changes the face of the globe is extraordinarily unlikely to occur in anybody’s lifetime. I think we can all be thankful for that, honestly!
However, this leads to a curious state in some preppers; a feeling, some might call it a yearning, to put it all on the line and really see if they measure up. To see if they have what it takes to endure and persevere. To see if they have the strength to overcome adversity in the gravest extreme.
And there is almost a sort of melancholy that accompanies this feeling, knowing the stats and figures on just how unlikely they are to need the skills they have spent a significant fraction of their life mastering will never be needed for real, and all of their effort is just to maintain a sort of permanent standby readiness. A noble end, and one that they likely do not regret, but this yearning remains.
A person such as this who’s really feeling the frustration of this existential problem might well vocalize it and various ways, even if they aren’t thinking their words through entirely. I have no doubt whatsoever about the genuine motives of people like this, and the Lord knows I have been one of them before out of boredom, aggravation or restlessness!
But it is also too easy to see how a person lacking such a context for their life and efforts could easily perceive such an attitude as a misanthropic craving for a big smash up to happen, and that might make a person look a bit off in the eyes of another.
Put another way, it is no different from the noble efforts of a surgeon, police officer, paramedic, fireman, or any other skilled profession that revolves around the plight of others wanting to put their skills to the test when they are needed.
Indeed, many of them probably pray that a day will come where their skills will never be needed, but the desire to be useful is inherently human, not born of malice, and we should not think poorly of preppers who are merely eager to be useful.
But There Are Some Who Choose Darker Directions
I have to be honest here: I would not be truthful to say I have never known any peppers who sincerely wished for a cataclysmic event or the legitimate end of the world as we know it to occur. I have. Some of them I have even called friends.
Though it is impossible to say what truly, ultimately, rattles around in the minds of such people, they would profess openly that they are merely eager for a sort of big “do-over”. These preppers have grievances, major ones, with the world and many of the people in it.
Maybe they’re just upset at the direction that our country is taking. Maybe they despise certain political parties, and the social and cultural changes that they have implemented. They might particularly resent the changing landscape, and their very own community.
If there’s one thing I know is true, it is that things never, ever stay the same and age does not necessarily bring wisdom. But if you are lucky, age will bring an acceptance to bear gracefully the things you cannot change. Some folks don’t get that at all.
And so even if you cannot understand their sentiments you can at least understand their thought process that brought them to this eagerness for doomsday.
These guys (and a few gals) tell themselves that with their skills, their preparation and their steadfast refusal to give up the old ways, it will be they who are standing strong and proud, exemplars of the way things were, the way things should be and, in the aftermath, the way things are.
They’ve convinced themselves that the soft, the decadent and the crazy will be swept away or will perish shortly thereafter and then the long but noble task of rebuilding the world as it ought to be will get underway proper.
To them, modernity and many of the people in it are symptomatic of a greater sickness that will inevitably result in the true extinction of mankind if we are not fortunate enough to undergo some corrective measure in the meantime.
That corrective measure could take the form of a great flood, an asteroid, a nuclear exchange or one of any number of possible scenarios that they could pluck out of a hat. To them, any of them will do, so long as the current order is dramatically shaken up or swept away.
A Personal Story
Before I close out this article with a personal story about this very subject, let me say that I do not hope for any legitimate SHTF scenario or doomsday itself in the context of wanting to leverage that event in order to get one over on the people that I feel have wronged us, or wrong the nation.
I generally don’t associate with those people if I’m giving any choice, as pessimism, vanity and nihilism of that scale is a poison of the soul that is hard to stop.
Furthermore I don’t delude myself about my chances, or anyone else’s, in the event of a legitimately catastrophic disaster. You know all those innumerable, faceless casualties that make up the millions and millions of dead or missing in all those mega disaster movies?
Yeah, you, me and everyone we know are likely to be among them when that happens for real, no matter how hard we try to prevent it! Sometimes, all you can do is hope against hope then rage against the dying of the light. That’s humanity for you, but it is called “doomsday” for a reason.
The other day I was talking with a friend who has some concerns and is leaning towards preparedness . He asked me a similar question about what I hope happens. I told him without any wavering that I pray, decades from now, it turns out that absolutely nothing happens.
I went on to say that I certainly would not consider my investment in preparedness a waste of time. The food I buy will not go to waste. The bullets I buy will be used or will get passed on. The medical supplies will be there in case of some accident. For whatever reason, preparedness comes natural to me and just flat-out makes sense.
Now, what I said next kinda caught my friend off guard. I told him that there was one situation, one possible circumstance that I hope TSHTF, and that it is only the sincere hope that if it does occur it is not too far off. He looked at me with surprise.
I told him that if TSHTF, that if some major disaster or event is to take place – I would want it to happen while I am still alive so that I can help my family and friends get through it.
Does that mean I hope it happens? No, it doesn’t, and I believe how I feel is similar to how most of those other preppers out there feel.
How about you? Do you hope for a chance to test yourself, or do you outright want doomsday to happen?
last update May 5th 2021