Wednesday, June 3, 2015
When I was growing up, my family didn't identify ourselves as "survivalist". Survivalist were wackos that lived by themselves in the woods, were paranoid about black helicopters and wore tinfoil hats. We were normal. Sure, we lived (way) out, wore camouflage (we did own a military surplus store - advertising, you know!) and used an M16 (it was legal) for target practice - but we weren't "survivalists". Yes, we did buy all of our food in bulk (we lived 2 hours from the nearest town), hunt for our meat (who could afford store-bought?) and cut our own firewood (there were trees everywhere - it was only prudent!) - but we weren't "survivalists". Our goal wasn't to "survive" the end of the world, our goal was to "survive" everyday life.
When I was eight years old, my parents sold everything they owned, left everything and everyone they knew and moved 400 miles away - into the middle of nowhere. They bought bare land and developed it with nothing more than a dream and back-breaking work. They wanted to live a life worth living, and my brother and I were along for the ride. And what a ride it was!
Not only did my brother and I learn to cut firewood, we learned that we had to prepare in the summer if we were going to be warm through the winter. We learned how to shop in bulk, to stretch food, to substitute one ingredient for another and to turn meager leftovers into entirely new meals. We learned how to stitch up animals, develop springs and build root cellars. We made Christmas gifts from scraps, bread from scratch and memories from everything in between. We weren't being raised as survivalists, we were being raised to survive.
I didn't know it then, but my parents were equipping me with the tools that I would need to thrive in the life that Sir Knight and I would eventually lead. Not only did my parents teach me the skills I would need, they imparted their vision, their wisdom, in living a self-reliant, prepared lifestyle. And that - more than anything else, created a family of multi-generational survivalists.
I have noticed a troubling trend. Many of the "preppers" and "survivalist" that Sir Knight and I know, have not effectively passed their vision on to their children. Their children vary from mildly interested to "been there, done that" (with no real skills at all), but none, with the exception of a very few, are actively engaged in embracing the preparedness lifestyle. They simply aren't interested or, because their parents have been doing it for years, think they know it all. This does not bode well for the next generation. We need them to know why we do what we do. If we want a future, we need our children. We need to train them in the ways of survival - but not just the "how-to's", but the "why this is important". In order for them to survive the end of the world as we know it, we need to pass our knowledge, our beliefs, our passion and our vision to our children - it can't just be ours, they have to own it for themselves.
Don't just tell your children about survival - show them. Teach them why it's important. Show them how it can and will affect their lives. Teach them the wisdom of integrating preparedness into their everyday lifestyle and prepare them to thrive in adversity. Prepare for your future - through your children - only then will you have multi-generational survival.