Saturday, November 22, 2008

Every day survivalism


What is survivalism, and what is a survivalist?

The very words conjure images of slightly scruffy folks living in cabins way out in the beyond, sleeping on stacked cartons of military rations. Doors locked and barred against a coming apocalypse, or government gone draconian and evil.

Is that a true image?

I’d like to present a different one; Look in the mirror.

Excepting the occasional teenager with no fear or common sense, I suspect we are all survivalists to some degree. On this note, we only differ in the tone and volume. Each of us does things in our daily life for the purpose of promoting our own health and safety. Each time we lock the vehicle to encourage its continued presence in the driveway, we are committing an act of survivalism. Every time we look both ways at an intersection, and hesitate at the onrushing tractor trailer, we certainly do so to survive the moment.

This brings to mind the question, to what degree am I a survivalist? Ask yourself the same question, and probe a bit for an honest answer.

I like to know where my next meal is coming from, and normally the ones to come after for quite a while in the future. I have no problem with procuring extra food and tucking it away, just to make sure it will be there when I want it. Whether it is the coffee on sale at the local market, or buying a case of soup as opposed to a can, when the price is right… I feel comfortable with stocking up. I’ve been a bit hungry at points in my life, and recall that I didn’t like it.

The hallmark of the archetype media driven image of a survivalist…. weapons; Yes, I own some. That makes me one of the fifty two million Americans who own firearms.

I guess to match the stereotype; the weapons need to look vaguely military in nature. Yes, once again I score on that count. The again, I am counting the military of a prior century when I say that. How about ammunition on hand? At what point does it go from ‘enough to go shooting with my buddies’ and become ‘stockpiling a hoard’? Well, when I get together with friends and shoot, it might mean a thousand rounds go down range, all told. Given that, having a few thousand rounds locked away is just barely being frugal, let alone excessive. Perhaps I need to buy more.

How about concern over chaos and/or government excess? Why yes, that is within my horizon of thought. I take active steps to make myself a difficult target for criminals of all types. My vehicle stays locked, as does my living space. I look out the door before I exit a building, because I want to know what’s waiting for me out there, be it a thug with a sap or an inch of new fallen snow. I pay attention to who is elected and appointed to power within our society, and what damage they can do to my life.

This self examination could go on for hours, so let’s get to the point. I am a survivalist. My bet is you are too, if you look at it honestly.

  • If you buy more food than you need today, or this week, then you may be a survivalist.
  • If you own weapons to protect or feed yourself and family, then you may be a survivalist.
  • If you lock your doors at night, and lock your car when you park it, you may be a survivalist.
  • If you have a map in your car, along with a flashlight and blanket, you may be a survivalist.
  • If you keep some cash on hand, in case the ATM and card machines go belly up, you may be a survivalist.
  • If you make plans for tomorrow, and expect to be here when it arrives, you may be a survivalist.

This might be worth remembering in days to come, when ‘survivalists’ will perhaps become a target of both media and government. We are all marked with that brush, to some degree.

Now, I’m going to get a bowl of cereal for breakfast (sticks and twigs, with skim milk), because I plan on surviving this day without being too hungry. How will you survive your day?

1 comment:

Christina LMT said...

Poorly.
I guess I'm a survivalist just by driving in Las Vegas during rush hour. Without losing my mind.