RX for an unstable world - Radical Self Reliance.
In early spring of 2020, many folks realized how dependent they are on institutions and supply chains that they have no direct control over. Starting with a pandemic and lock-down, and morphing into a series of races riots that included looting, burning, and killing in some cities, many are getting a taste of how vulnerable they are. Many lost their jobs, everything from toilet paper to various types of groceries became in very short supply, restaurants closed down, medical services became unavailable, families lost access to each other, and many businesses closed forever. US firearm and ammo sales continue at a record pace as people realize that the only reliable protection they have is from themselves. It is becoming more and more apparent that getting "back to normal" is something that is unlikely to happen in a meaningful and semi permanent way. Many have no real solid idea about employment, education, health care, travel, housing, personal safety, or global economy.
I believe that the current approach to living with the highest chance of success is "radical self reliance." Many are daunted by the idea of this, as they picture mad max, or someone dug into a 10,000 square foot bunker with indoor gardens and elaborate security systems. In fact most people can start where they are and begin to immediately become less reliant on forces and conditions outside of their control.
I suggest starting with a rigorous audit, beginning as close in as your own mind, and working outward to survey all of the systems that support the health and well being of yourself and everyone you care dearly for. The first essential system that I continually monitor is my own "peace of mind." I want to be in touch with my own mortality and accepting that every breath I take is a divine gift, and work diligently to make sure I make absolute best use of every moment. I strive to keep a peaceful and harmonious inner state, no matter what is blowing up around me. I know from experience that if I allow myself to be swallowed up in agitation, being tossed helplessly on a raging sea of emotion, I can't be of use to myself or anyone else. Living a life full of drama and feelings of victimization is a luxury that people with large challenges can't afford. Thus, whatever it takes in terms of spiritual discipline, get your mind and spirit aligned, peaceful, and powerful. This is the only way that your decisions will net you the life that you want. Especially don't listen to any external voices of drama and agitation, as dominate the news media. The media is interested in your money and your compliance, not your empowerment.
Once your mind is calm and you are feeling assured, take inventory of who is close to you. You need your "inner circle" of friends and family to mirror the calm, powerful peace of mind that you are working diligently to cultivate. If individuals are dragging you down or not "pulling their weight" in your world, you will certainly do yourself a favor, and probably them also, to take a vacation from them. Obviously you have certain obligations with family and loved ones, but make sure that you don't allow one or two unaligned individuals to drag down your whole world in times of extreme stress.
At this point I suggest starting to list all of the essential survival needs that you have very little control over the supply of:
MOBILITY - Do you live in a city with no personal means of transport? If you have to leave quickly with no public transportation or friends with cars, how will you do it? If you have a car or truck, is it rugged and reliable enough to go over many types of terrain? Is it large enough to carry plenty of people and provisions in a time of crisis? Do you have backup sources of fuel? Do you have any ability to repair and maintain your own vehicle? if you live on or near the water, do you have a seaworthy boat and the skills to employ it? Might this be a time to update to a more versatile vehicle that can be kept in top shape? Do you live in a place that would be difficult to escape in an extreme crisis? Might it be time to rethink where you live?
FOOD and WATER - How will you feed yourself and your family if the shelves become empty? Do you store any food? Can you grow food? Can you hunt and/or fish? Do you raise any livestock? Do you have a water source that isn't dependent on a municipality or having electricity? Do you have a way to sterilize water that becomes contaminated? Do you live in a place where food can be easily be gathered from the sea or land?
HEALTH - Can you heal yourself and your family if no formal medical care is available? Is everyone close to you in the best possible physical condition that they can be in? Do you have healthy routines that will keep health crisis' a rarity? Do you keep the first aid supplies that you might need in stock and good condition? Are you competent in holistic health practices like massage, acupuncture, herbs, reiki ?
SHELTER and HEAT - Can you stay warm, dry, and comfortable in times of no electrical power from the grid, or deliveries of fuel? Do you have simple systems to sustain you, that you can maintain and repair yourself? Can you cook and keep food from spoiling without power? If you have a solar system or generator, what if you run out of fuel or there is no sunshine? Also, keep in mind that a grid tied solar system is useless to you if the utility company doesn't deliver your power. Does everyone in your family know how to use the backup utility systems if your primary systems go out?
In our current climate of civil unrest, many people who have never thought about taking responsibility for their own safety are now waking up to the realization that they really have nobody else to rely on. With the "defund the police" movement and the extremes of poverty that are likely to result from the pandemic lockdown, this is more true than ever. Simply owning a firearm is nowhere near enough of a step to keep you safe in a violent encounter. Taking personal self defense seriously takes focused and committed study, investment of time and money, and constant maintenance of skills and assessment of needs.
These aspects of self reliance might seem insurmountable and unrealistic if you are new to thinking this way. The good news is that they can all be accomplished without undo hardship by putting together a realistic plan and allowing the pursuit to be a process that is perfected over a lifetime - as opposed to a one time event. I will follow this blog with a series of short essays that take apart each aspect, and other longer term topics like: A self reliant home, A new approach to education, and How about getting money? These are all aspects that are addressed in the building of Micro Villages, which you can read about on the host website.