Why do we prepare? Why do we spend so much time studying, training, and learning about preparedness?
Because when a calamity happens, we want to be able to rely on OURSELVES, not anyone else. Because we believe in the American Ideal of self-reliance. Because we believe in not just giving up and waiting for someone else to come in and rescue us.
We understand that most basic human ideal is not giving up. Preparedness allows us the ability to be truly free.
As stated in the Ultimate Tactical Handbook:
It is for freedom’s sake that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, & do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Relying on anyone but yourself is SLAVERY. Develop the skills, gear, and most importantly, the MINDSET of self-reliance. If I was to allow anyone other than myself to provide for me in an emergency or otherwise, then that other entity, be it a person, an organization, or a government, can bend me to their will by denying me what I need to survive.
If I have a mountain of gear, and am adequately trained, yet I lack the mindset that I will stand firm and prevail, I will die. It’s that simple.
In the United States military Survival, Evasion, Resistance, & Escape (SERE) school, the very first thing they teach is mindset, because nothing else matters.
Be of the mindset in any situation that you will WIN, not merely survive. When I teach a self defense or defensive firearms class, I hammer this point home. I can “SURVIVE” and yet have horrible things happen to me. WINNING is entirely different. Merely surviving puts you at the will of someone else, winning means YOU determine the outcome. You are relying on yourself to prevail, not on the goodwill of the attacker.
I know that in our polarized society and powder-keg environment, it’s easy to lose sight of this. Going along to get along seems pretty attractive in a modern society, and giving up our ideals for the sake of peace might seem like a good idea.
But what if the other side never “goes along to get along” or gives ground, while always asking you to?
In a preparedness context, let’s say the next mutual assistance group over didn’t prepare as well of yours, but is heavily armed. When they come asking for food, if you just give it to them because you don’t want a fight, what’s going to happen the next time they need food? Eventually your group will spend most of their time working to provide for the other group, also known as SLAVERY. In a true “without rule of law” situation, this is a real threat.
A lot of times in our discussions, we hear people say “Well, I won’t prepare, I’ll just come to your house”. Us preparedness people always reply “No, you won’t, I won’t accept that”. Why don’t we do that outside of a survival situation?
In other words, why are we willing to compromise our ideals so easily in society, when the other side, whichever side that is, demands that we do? Because our society has gotten so comfortable that “going along to get along” is just easier than making a stand on our ideals.
I’d like to use a story to illustrate this, so bear with me.
Two men were traveling and came upon a town. While these guys were there, there was a wacky fortune teller. The fortune teller was loud and obnoxious, and she followed these guys around shouting (I’m fairly sure she had purple hair). Eventually, the guys got sick of it and demanded that she shut up, rather loudly & forcefully. In rather short order, these guys were grabbed and beaten, and then turned over to the local police, who also beat them & then locked them up.
In the morning, the court magistrate realized that they actually hadn’t committed a crime at all and he told the police to quietly let them go, and the police passed on a message to these guys to just quietly leave town, without making a scene….just “go along to get along”.
Well, the leader of these two guys, his name was Paul, said, “Hold up….they attacked & beat us and you locked us up for it. Nope. The magistrate himself is going to have to release us & then escort us out”. He stood on his principle, even though it put him at greater risk.
He didn’t just “go along to get along”, because Paul knew that if he did, the same thing would happen again the next time there was a dispute. Doing what’s right is always right, even if it is easier not to.
By now, some of you may recognize this story as Acts 16, and the two men were Paul and Luke. All I did to apply it to our world is change it to a modern context.
The moral of story is no less relevant than when written nearly 2,000 years ago. If you allow people to trample your rights, they will continue to do it. This isn’t a right or left thing, it’s “do the right thing”, thing.
Applying this to preparedness, let’s link it back to why we prepare…..so that we can be self-determining. So that we aren’t dependent on anyone but ourselves.
Most importantly, so that no one can bend us to their will by denying us what we need to survive. We are self-reliant.
We are free.
Let’s stay that way.