This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by SurvivorDan
I’ve got a bad attitude today so it inspired me to write about having the right attitude.
This post is about a state of mind.
Many posts are about things you can do to resolve a problem. Concrete actions you should take in a crises. A series of actions, some with very specific learned skill sets that you train on and then apply, to solve a problem. Seems logical that we would focus on prepper supplies and skills like storing up long term foods, seeds and farming techniques, tools, antibiotics and vitamins, medical supplies, purifying water, alternative fuels, raising livestock for meat, milk, eggs and wool, security and Opsec equipment and methods, etc ad infinitum. Or learning wilderness survival skill sets that allow us to find and store water, gather and prepare food, create a fire, build a shelter, read maps, GPSs, navigate by the stars, etc.
Let us not forget the common crises and SHTF (sh*t-hits-the-fan) crises such as car breakdowns, accidents, etc. And so besides survival supplies you carry emergency vehicle tools like fire extinguishers, shovels, road flares, spare parts, car tools, 1st aid kits, flashlights, etc. You can change a tire, radiator hose, tighten a battery connection, dig the car out of a ditch, hunker down in the disabled vehicle with your other survival supplies, signal for help, illuminate an accident scene, etc.
Then there are home invasions, fires, power outage, natural disasters, burglary, medical emergencies, etc. You have emergency supplies and tools in your house. You have extra water and food, alternative fueled food cooking devices, water purification chemicals and techniques, a generator, weapons for self-defense and hunting, candles, oil lamps and flashlights, 1st aid kits, fire extinguishers, etc. You’re a regular boy scout. You are prepared. But will you really act? Will you?
There has been one main demonstrable factor or commonality among survivors of serious crises such as lost in the wilderness, car crash in an isolated and hidden area, buried and trapped in a structure due to earthquake or flood, violent home invasion, forest fires, stranded in the middle of a revolution, etc. Revolution?! Yes, I am citing some extreme examples but the point is that regardless of the circumstances and even the amount of preparedness (though preparedness does contribute heavily to a favorable outcome) those who found a way to survive all had attitude.
Attitude. Not just the will to live, though that helps. It’s more than that. Heck, even a tiny critter with a brain the size of a pea will battle for it’s last breath. Does it have attitude? No, it has instincts. The instinctual desire to survive is ubiquitous among all creatures. Hence their species survives. Humans have it too. I meet people who tell me they don’t prepare for or even think about a major disaster let alone TEOTWAWKI (the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it) because, “I don’t want to be around (alive) if my part of the world is devastated.” They say it with casual indifference and dismissal of the topic. They are prepared to perish … they are at peace with what the Fates will bring. Hardly.
Having spent time in war torn countries and more recently at major disasters with the local Sheriff’s department , I know that those same people crawl out of the rubble and their survival instincts make them scramble to live. Or at least then they demand that government solves the problem which they scoffed at and refused to prepare for. The instinct to survive (even in a dismissive, haughty, lazy human) is powerful.
People often turn into beasts in their desperate instinctual desire to live. In the immediate aftermath of a major disaster, the unprepared moral weaklings abandon all social constraints and any sense of morality evaporates as the instinct to survive and the ‘mob rule’ mentality of the hapless sets in and people become desperate, self-centered, self-gratifying, anything-goes monsters especially in the absence or scarcity of law enforcement. They have been reduced to their baser instincts. Goblins. Eventually, most of them perish. Wrong attitude.
The right attitude…
What most survivors have in common is the will to act and the determination to solve problems step by step without let up until their situation is stabilized or they are rescued. They do not stop reasoning and resolving each survival issue. They always push forward with each task making every attempt to resolve the problem. They tend to organize those around them to complete tasks and so the division of labor is assigned and accomplished.
The less take-charge but reasonably intelligent survivors acquiesce to the ‘lead’ survivor(s) apparent knowledge or at least decisiveness. And so they improve their own chances of survival. (Unlike the goblins who have lost their humanity to baser instincts and fear and merely take what they can with no regard for others or ethics and morality.) Survivors have the attitude that things need doing and they are going to get done.
He or she leads. During the disaster or it’s immediate aftermath it is time for action. It is not the time for self-pity or despair. So the survivorist/survivalist makes a plan and then acts to put it in motion. He breaks up the major disaster into smaller crises which can be resolved and cumulatively improve the overall situation. Find water, safe shelter, food, ration/rotate food, make fire, set up security, tend to the injured, send out reconnaissance parties when things are stabilized, contact government entities, form a local government, etc.
Assign tasks to anyone who is able. Working tends to take folks minds off the overall disaster and focuses them on the assigned tasks at hand. Less time to wallow in self-pity and despair. The right sort of positive can-do attitude is contagious. People can be uplifted by one person’s positive outlook and drive to overcome the problems they are all facing. Set an example for others to follow…..plan, lead, act, inspire and uplift. Have the right stuff. The right attitude….
Have you got IT?
What drove/motivated you in an emergency?
What inspired you to persevere?
This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:
First Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com A total prize value of over $600.
Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company. A total prize value of $107.
Contest ends on June 5 2012.