by Scott in the Midwest
Do the following simple things with those you care about, and I firmly believe it will bring you more happiness and more benefit than any single “prep” activity you can do on your own:
Be open with them about your feelings on being independent and prepared for any future events.
Find activities to do with them on a regular basis that incorporate your mindset into their lives.
I worked in marketing for more than 10 years, and I know that the most powerful motivator is not telling people to try something, but by having them actively experience it themselves. That is why there are so many “try it risk-free” and “90-day money back guarantee” offers out there. The companies offering them know that if they can get you to just sample their offering, there is a great possibility that you will choose to buy the product or service.
Let’s take the same approach that has been profitable for so many companies and apply it to expanding the number of people in our lives that can develop a survivalist attitude. I feel very fortunate to have been born with an independent nature and good planning skills, but sometimes I get concerned that others don’t see the same looming problems in our society as I do. No matter how much I prep, it won’t be satisfying if I survive a crisis, only to see my brothers, their spouses and children, and my parents and friends suffer, especially when I could be doing things right now to get them familiar with being more self-sufficient.
However, I feel that there is a “prepper inside of all of us.” Most people just need to be introduced to it in a casual, non-threatening way, rather than be told that the end of the world is soon approaching.
Some things I do with family/friends to introduce them to my prepping:
-One Sunday each month, I visit my parents and can vegetables with them, using the old canning equipment and jars that, until recently, were gathering dust in their garage. It’s a good way to pass the time during a visit and they keep the finished product in their basement. It gives me piece of mind to know that they have a growing inventory of food at their home, particularly now as they are entering their 70s and are slowing down.
-I have a niece and a nephew, both under the age of 10. Every few months, we sort through the loose change I collect, keeping all nickels and any pennies minted prior to 1982 for their high content of copper. It’s fun for them to lie on the floor and sort through all the pieces of money, and they are becoming aware that some coins remain valuable over time because of their content. For further emphasis, I purchase a United States Silver Eagle for each of them on their birthday and at Christmas.
-Occasionally, I visit one of the local coin stores and make small purchases of pre-1965 U.S. coins. If my brothers and I are getting together that day, I arrange it that I pick them up, so they will come into the coin store with me. They now know what “junk silver” means, and how it is different from coins being minted today, which is something that they were totally unaware of just 12 months ago.
-For friends and co-workers, I loan them books on prepping from my personal collection, all of which I have purchased secondhand from garage sales, local bookstores or online. I also forward them links to information on the Internet (like this blog) that I find extremely helpful.
For the most part, I have found people to be at least somewhat interested in why I think the way that I do and how it motivates me to prep on a regular basis. Sometimes, however, people immediately assume that I have some sort of radical political ideas (my planning has nothing to do with any politics), or that I am not as much of a “patriot” to this country as I should be. If I really wanted to start an argument, I would explain to them that our country was founded by men and women who believed in being self-sufficient, and not being dependent on energy and financing from other countries. Instead, I just smile and calmly reassure them that I don’t wish anything bad to ever happen to any of us; I just want to be in control of daily necessities as much as possible and be healthy and able to lend a hand should a crisis ever develop.
To those people who openly doubt the wisdom of prepping and being self-sufficient, I offer the following suggestion, one that does not cost anything: take one item that you spend money that is not vital to your survival (most of us have at least one thing), and go for a period of time, like one month, or 100 days, without buying that item. You don’t have to tell anyone about this, in case you are worried about failing and what others may think. Just try it, holding you accountable. At the end of the allotted time, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and empowerment, that you have greater control over your actions, your destiny, and your future than you may have ever thought.
That feeling is why I do the prepping that I do.
These are a just a few of the things that I do and share with other people. I am certain that you can come up with simple, low-budget activities that best suit your circle of family, friends and even strangers. The hardest thing I find sometimes is to keep perspective and remain patient. Those of us who frequent this blog and others like it take so much of our understanding on the importance of prepping and survivalism for granted.
However, in terms of numbers in our society, what are we, 1 in 100? 1 in 1,000? 1 in 10,000? Now, I am certainly not in favor of disclosing your bug-out location to anyone or promoting how much food, water or precious metals you may stored; but, think about how much more confident we would feel about a post-crisis situation if many more people were made aware before the fact, and started to develop a similar mindset and stockpiling of materials, no matter how small at first.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”