Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Asset or Liability?

Preppers and Survivalists spend a considerable amount of time acquiring.  They acquire equipment, they acquire skills and they acquire knowledge.  They know exactly what they will do in any given situation - they are always ready for the worst case scenario.  But are they acquiring what is truly necessary to survive?

Over the years of being off-grid, I have made a few observations.  The first observation is that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong.  I know, I know - I am not the first person to observe this phenomenon - I think somebody named Murphy noticed it before me.  The second observation is that every person in the middle of a crisis has the ability to make a bad situation infinitely better or infinitely worse.

Sir Knight and I have dealt with just about every off-grid scenario.  We have jump started a 24 volt diesel generator with a 12 volt battery in the middle of a snow storm with 40 mile an hour winds.  We have dug a cow out of a bog when it was 32° and sleeting and the cow was quickly becoming hypothermic.  We have had lightening kill our inverter (literally set it on fire) and had to catch our wind turbine (complete with 30 foot tower) as the guy wires snapped sending it crashing to the ground.  We have been out of water, with all of our many generators on the fritz when we were expecting a baby (to be born at home) with no way to flush the toilet, draw a bath or fill a hot water bottle.  We have experienced life in a way that most 21st century Americans couldn't even fathom.  And we haven't always done it gracefully.

The longer we have struggled along, the more clearly I see bad situations for what they are - opportunities to become a TEOTWAWKI asset.  Bad situations happen to every one of us.  The car won't start.  We get lost downtown and can't find the freeway.  The kids break our favorite plate.  We hit our thumb with a hammer.  The list could go on and on.  The point is, that bad things happen all the time in everyday life giving us ample opportunity to train for the end of the world.

Here's the deal.  How we handle ourselves under pressure will be the deciding factor in our survivability at the end of the world.  When the generator breaks down you have two choices.  You can brace yourself, head outside and fix it (when it is -20°) and get on with life or you can have a screaming fit, yell about nobody else having to deal with this nonsense, kick the generator (knocking off the air filter in the process) and rip your hands to pieces while trying to turn a wrench in your white hot anger.  The end result is the same - a repaired generator - but the process is infinitely different.  One process builds moral and encourages everyone involved - Asset.  The other process tears down people, making them cower in fear - Liability.

You might think that all the little inconveniences in life right at the moment have no bearing on TEOTWAWKI but you couldn't be more wrong.  You are in training.  You are choosing every day how to handle difficult situations.  If you handle things poorly now, chances are that when things get really bad you will be a liability to every person in your sphere of influence.  If you choose to handle things well - to make a bad situation better, you will be the go-to man in a grid-down situation.  You will be sought after - an asset.

Choose today how you will live your life.  Will you be an asset or a liability?  The choice is yours.  Choose well.


  1. Very very thought provoking post.....well done.

  2. Enola,

    (captaincrunch again)

    I have found out that "Being patient" and cool under fire works the best. In the case of a failed generator, if I start to get frustrated. Then maybe its time to take a break before things get worse. During the break I calm down and re-focus on the probelem at hand.
    Same philosophy is good when your getting shot at or in any other stressful situation.

    Be cool, methodical, and think your way to a solution to the situation.

  3. A great and timely reminder. Can I have your permission to print a copy for my folder? Sometimes we need to have a reminder that doesn't involve firing up the computer.

  4. Thank you so much for this bit of wisdom today. My husband is being laid off this week and I find myself irritable and snapping at my family. I will try to remind myself to regroup and refocus. Our economic TEOTWAWKI will be good practice for whatever the future brings.

  5. very well said enola...been there and done that and still going and doing!