I was reading some posts elsewhere and someone mentioned that they didn’t understand why, given all the economic turmoil that appears to be going on, most people don’t seem terribly concerned about whats going on. Is everyone completely oblivious or is she just overblowing the situation.
I commented that most people probably aren’t interested enough as long as they still have their job, can buy gas, and can buy groceries.
And then I started wondering why some people, in times like these, wouldn’t take steps to help them in case things go bad. Why wouldn’t someone start making plans to take care of themselves in case their job is lost and their income severely impacted? Even if things turn out just fine and the economy roars into a Reagan-era style of prosperity you would still want to have a little something up your sleeve in case things go south for whatever reason. So, the question remained – why are some people carefully setting themselves up to have layers of protection from the economic fallout and why are some going on with business as usual without a concern for their future well being.
So I came up with a couple of theories. Maybe they believe that .gov will set things straight because it always has before. Maybe they think that ‘I wont live in fear’ and that ‘it could never be as bad as the doomsayers think’. Maybe they think their profession is one that is bulletproof against recession. Maybe they think that they’ll always have a job.
And then I started wondering why I was wondering. Really, why do I care why other people don’t take steps to protect themselves in this time of instability. Its pretty much impossible to live in a media vacuum these days. Everyone knows that the economy is not as robust as it used to be and there are very clear signs that people should be concerned about their own financial well being and perhaps should start doing things to prepare in case they lose their job or worse. Yet, they don’t. So…I say let ‘em sink.
Everyone has had plenty of time to get their affairs in order, their ducks in a row, their poop in a group, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. By and large its no secret among our families and close friends that we are rather pro-active in the area of being prepared. If they choose not to do anything to protect themselves then they really shouldn’t expect a lot of help from me…I’ll have my hands full taking care of my own interests. What exactly are those interests? Protecting and preserving the financial and physical well-being of myself and the missus. Everything (and everyone) else is secondary. Certainly some folks are gonna be in a lot tighter second place than others, but our own interests will always be paramount. And there’s not a bloody thing wrong with that. To expect someone to not put their own needs first is a terribly unrealistic way to think.
In short, the winter approaches and I’ve no patience for the grasshoppers while Im working with the rest of the ants.
Previous rant not withstanding, I am actually not an anti-social person. Its just that theres people I like and want to spend time with and theres people I really prefer not to spend time around. That’s not anti-social, that’s life. Every once in a while someone will walk into the shop and introduce themselves and say something like “I’ve been reading your stuff for a while now. I read your blog.”
Today was such a day. A fella who was in Montana on business from California (poor bastard) was sitting at the shop when I came back from lunch. He was passing through and wanted to say howdy. It sounds pretty snooty to say “I always have time for a fan” and Im not going to say that simply because I don’t think I have fans. What I do have are people who have ideas and values very similar to my own and Im always glad to meet people like that. (I am, also, usually glad to meet people who have opposite views from my own because I love exploring other ideas…however, I probably will spend more leisure time with the like-minded individual.) We chatted about guns and our mutual interests between customers and had a nice time. Us wacky survivalist-types are usually portrayed as camouflage-clad misanthropic lunatics and while I have met a few of those the overwhelming majority of people I have met have been thoughtful, intelligent, well-reasoned people of strong conviction and open mind. Todays encounter was no exception. So when youre off at WalMart or CostCo buying 50# bags of rice and a dozen bricks of .22 ammo don’t wonder if maybe you’re the only one out there…your way of thinking is more popular than you think. Don’t let the rest of the world convince you otherwise.
Another day, another five gallons of gas squirreled away. Price today was $3.44/gal for regular. As an aside, the girlfriend asked if we needed to fill up any more and how many were we going to keep and shouldn’t we just fill them up all at once. I love those thoughtful questions. I told her we had enough at the moment for us to be comfortable, I wanted to fill another four or so, and that I figured I’d do them once a week or so in case gas prices continue to fall. No “Why are you wasting money on that?”, no “Don’t you think you’re overreacting?”, no criticism or comments about “the sky is falling”. Know why? Because many years ago I made it quite clear that I have some beliefs that are a little out of the mainstream and that those beliefs may, from time to time, seem inconvenient or ill-founded, but they’re what I believe and acting upon them gives me security and peace of mind and I wasn’t planning on changing that. She accepted that, got on board, and has been a supportive and active partner ever since. Makes things a lot easier. I cannot overemphasize what a force-multiplier it is to have the girlfriend on board on all these things. Moral of the story – when you’re shopping for a significant other and its starting to get serious make sure they know what you’re doing and that they are 110% on board.