Teach a man to fish.
I have been following a lot of the “Prepper” sites for a while. I was a big fan of the homestead movement back in the 70’s and 80’s. In those days the reasoning was more a rejection of the modern industrial society and a longing for a life style more in tune with nature. What I am seeing now is a lot of fear and uncertainty. People see many different risks and wish to exercise some measure of control over their lives if one of these risks becomes a reality. When I two years old America went through the Cuban missile crisis. I risk of someone using a atomic weapon was very real. People stored food and prepared for possible radiation fallout. I still remember when I was young we still had duck and cover drills in school. Well the cold war ended and the drills stopped. Well all felt secure and global trade became the means for people to live in harmony. However, not a day went by in my life when there was not a day of conflict in the world someplace. But in America things worked, we had a number of national disasters and times of localized civil unrest but on the whole things worked. During this same time the culture of America was also changing, in fact the whole world was changing. With the birth of the Internet information was now at our finger tips. We could connect with people who shared our ideas and beliefs. Things that were only discussed on late night talks shows such as Art Bell became mainstream. More people became aware of risks. As more people became aware of risks people offered solutions for sale to address these risks. In many cases people are preparing for a event that will impact their lives temporarily. They wish to minimize the impact so they can resume their normal lives more quickly. It falls into the same category as having home and auto insurance or having medical coverage. But for a few the risk event is such that it may not be possible to go back to their old lives. It is sort of like long term care coverage. After the event life will never be the same. Many of these people are “Preppers” people preparing for Black Swan events that will change life as we know it in America. They generally make preparations for surviving the actual risk event. But what many of them fail to grasp is that according to their scenario they also have to design a new lifestyle that will work in the post event environment. In many ways this new life style has many similar components that the back to nature life style of the 60’s and 70’s had. We take the best of the old and apply modern understanding and technology to improve it. Unfortunately, this lifestyle requires learning and living it to really be prepared. There is only so much you can learn from YouTube and books. Some parts of it have to be lived to really appreciate it. It is sort of like teaching a man to fish compared to giving a man a fish.