Spiritual Preps: Flexibility

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("Spiritual" in this case not meant in sectarian fashion, though people are free on THIS thread to discuss their faith or non-faith -- reader beware -- but keep it polite and mutually respectful. This is partly an experiment to see whether we can restore intense but respectful dialogue on our forums).

As a Y2K bump-in-road looks ever less likely, a greater challenge will probably be faced on the other side. What do we do if Y2K impacts thwart our "best-laid plans"?

For instance, you had decided to stay in the city, but pre-emptive martial law is declared on December 1, yet you can get out according to the rules to a family compound "upstate"? If you don't get out, you might be trapped for months in a very unpredictable if "controlled" setting.

Or, your suburban area has been without food shipments for six weeks and the, uh, neighbors are restless.

Or, your rural area is downwind from a chemical disaster 75 miles away.

Of course, Y2K is so unpredictable that no one can plan for everything. But I am convinced it is crucial we maintain and strengthen our own INNER ability to respond flexibly and quickly to unexpected scenarios. While this may have a visible component to it (bug-out bags), it is primarily an issue of character.

I suspect many of us GIs are as attached to our own "home" and "space" as anyone else, maybe more so if we've put a lot of effort into energy, gardens, security, etc. It would be ironic if our own preps proved to be our undoing due to a character defect which we had not brought into full awareness.

Here is where those who MUST develop a bug-out scenario (urbanites) can be a help to some of the rest of us, btw, who may feel we don't need such a script. Mebbe we do, mebbe we don't.

But, script or not, returning to the theme of this thread, inner FLEXIBILITY is not only key to being a GI and prepping, it will be even more key to making it through the Y2K discontinuity.

This is a spiritual issue (taking that term broadly here) and boils down to this simple question:

"Are you prepared to abandon ALL fixed preparations on a few hours notice if necessary?"

And, perhaps derivatively,

"Are you even aware that you need to be alert to the possibility of doing so (that is, be watching circumstances in your area carefully) or have you pre-decided you ain't going anywhere?"

-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), July 07, 1999


Good point!

As far as the physical side goes, a packed trailer, pop-up camper, car top carrier and backpacks can make it easier to visualize such a move.

This is the time to be praying for guidance, protection, for our friends, neighbors and our enemies. This is a big problem we are facing, lets give it some lead time spiritually, too.

I plan to try to contribute in various ways now to my farther-out-in-the-country backup so as to help them prepare,too.

-- seraphima (seraphima@aol.com), July 07, 1999.

A good topic Big Dog. The awareness is there for me, too much so at times. We have prepared on the home front and are preparing the backup as best we can.

At some point it may become necessary to leave the backup with little notice. I accept that the reason may not be something that could have been seen in advance. I have a healthy respect for the potential unknowns in this issue to prepare myself to not be surprised.

The one disturbing feature of this is the mindset of those I love. Plans and preparation can go a long way but this is a society where stability and faith in the norm is paramount.

It has been a long road to this point and persuading those close to take certain steps is still difficult. To push that one step further may require a form of shock that some might not be able to handle.

For this I must depend on my faith and the power of the human spirit.

-- Mike Lang (webflier@erols.com), July 07, 1999.

Spiritual? If I read your post correctly the spiritual consideration would be of the more traditional sort. Would you have the humility to realize that you may well be driven from your home? That you can't stave off the world? Once you decieded to prepare for that, your best bet is to read ALOT on living off the land (wilderness or urban) and navigating. Once you know how to do that you will end up buying a few well thought out purchases to add to your bug out bag. And once your on your own, I think you will end up talking to what ever deity your parents tried to get you to believe in quite often and in earnest.

Watch six and keep your...

-- eyes_open (best@wishes.net), July 07, 1999.

I think we all have a problem like this that wakes us up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Security is mine. And from that I have started thinking "what if we had to leave"? That brings up lots of questions: 1. Do we dare take our truck and 30 ft trailer, chubby hubby driving and me riding shot gun? 2. Can I bring myself to leave my home and all that is dear? (having watched the refugees from Kosovo sure brings a clearer picture of what could happen.) 3. What about my beloved miniture donkeys (8). Do I turn them loose? Actually, I think I would shoot them. 4. We have the money to go off shore...like into the Caribbean Islands or down to Costa Rica or? Would we be able to find transportation. By sea or air? Would it be any safer? 5. Can I shoot a neighbor who is ripping off the front door? 6. Can I turn away a hungry family? And on and on and on. This is what keeps me awake and we don't even have children. I don't know how those of you who have kids get any sleep. I have no fears of y2k...and the world going dark. I fear my fellow man.

Taz...who is in a real quandry!

-- Taz (Tassie @aol.com), July 07, 1999.

Mental preparation is THE most important aspect of being ready for whatever event unfolds.

As a martial artist instructor and tournament participant for many years, I can tell you unequivocally, that triumphing over obstacles is a mental excercize, not merely physical. To face and endure a threat or hardship requires roughly 80% mental preparedness and 20% physical.

Envisioning and preparing for worst-case-scenarios will go along way towards protecting yourself and family in the event of a catastrophe. In fact, the hardest part of preparing for anything is mental preparation.

Just ask a combat vet. You first need to accept the reality around you, accept the possibility of harm or worse upon yourself, and make the plan to overcome these threats a reality.

As many have pointed out, flexibility is the key to surviving. If you refuse to leave your home in a disaster, you may end up a victim. You cannot defend a stationary point very well. Survival may well depend on your ability to fall back to another location, or live on the run. I point this out, because if folks go hungry due to disruptions, the hordes will go to where they think the food is. If you're on a farm, you will be a target. At some point, even best-laid plans will be moot if you are overwhelmed with numbers.

Starvation breeds desperation, and little care or concern will be paid to you or your kids in that event. You will merely be obstacles. And a few gunshots into the crowd isn't going to dissuade them.

Be mentally prepared for such horrid events. Imagining the worst- possible things that could jeaopardize your welfare, and planning to overcome those possibilities will be the first step you will need to survive, even if they don't happen, or are less severe than you imagine...you will be prepared for it.

This goes for your kids too. I know many dislike the notion of scaring innocent children with nightmare scenarios - but I'm telling you, children can become a shackle to your entire family if not properly prepared. They can take it, believe me...I have 3 girls all under 12. If presented in an informative fashion (and having a relative that lived through Nazi occupation and can relate those stories helps alot too), your kids will respond well in a real situation. I mean, you teach your kids about fire and how to get out of your house in a fire...right? That's pretty scary. And I'm sure you explain the dangers of fire, and what it can do, right? The same is true with explaining Y2K, and the public reaction to disruptions. Train them as you train yourself. Teach them how to use a firearm safely and accurately. Teach them about wildlife hazards if you have to hike. Teach them how to move in a moments notice. Teach them about the desperation and evil of men (just let them see the nightly news). And most importantly, teach them about the need for God to intervene and protect them.

This thought-process is worst-case now. Teaching yourself and kids about the FUN and HELPFUL things you can contribute to a community is important too, but start with worst-case...in case it does become a worst-case. Because if it does, the hardest part of being ready for it will already be done.

Start today. Imagine the worst possible situation to befall you and your family...and imagine yourself getting out of it...alive and unhurt. make a list of what you'll need, and contingencies to put into place to survive your imaginary nightmare....just-in-case.

You'll be smarter, more alert and ready to live...and help others with this kind of attitude.

Hope for the best...but prepare for the worst. Just don't wait til the last minute before doing it.

There may be no lifeboats left.

-- INVAR (gundark@sw.net), July 07, 1999.

Excellent topic BD. You are a daring canine. ;-D

My wife & I live in a rural setting. Moved here six months prior to becoming GIs. FWIW, I believe it was a Grace that brought us to this place, this house. Our own water well, septic system, wood stove which heats the house incredibly well. One dirt road leading up the hill (1000 ft. above sea level) to our neighborhood. Easy to block off by dropping a few trees, if necessary. One mile from a National Forest.

I'm slowly putting together a BOB. Already have a pack devoted to first aid, fire starters, etc. I can conceive of a scenario or two which would make bugging out a consideration. Very ugly! If D.C. & vicinity population comes pouring out towards our area - look out brother.

I am now a not-so-proud owner of a 12 gauge shotgun. Training classes for my wife & I are on the agenda for August. This is where my toughest spiritual question reared its head - can I kill in defense of my family? It took the better part of a year for me to answer that question. Or should I say I found the theoretical answer. The question is not answered for real until the situation presents itself. I pray it never does!

To answer your question, "Are you prepared to abandon ALL fixed preparations on a few hours notice if necessary?" Yes. A lot depends upon my neighbors, their reactions to what may come.

I am not attached to material possessions. I achieved this non- attachment through spiritual practice.

Indeed, inner flexibility is a key to life pre- & post-Y2K.

Best Wishes,

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), July 07, 1999.

Ain't nothing I got that is worth my life, except for my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Been preparing for over a year to be able to live in my current home with my wife, kids and grandkids. There are a lot of us. To the extent possible we will try to be generous to our neighbors. However, if it becomes necessary, we will defend our home from looters.

On the other hand, I have also prepared a camping backpack for every member in my house. It contains basic camping supplies. If we should get separated for any reason, each person could live in the woods just using the stuff in their backpack. Lots of duplicates (compasses, first aid stuff, etc.) I don't know what the future may bring, but I am prepared to abandon my home with little notice if that becomes the most prudent way for my family to survive in the long run. My home ain't worth the life of my loved ones.

May God Bless.


-- Grandpappy (Grandpappy@old-timers.hom), July 07, 1999.

(1) I agree with the previous poster...the key thing to keep is my faith in the Lord.

(2) Although I am in an almost unique situation (small population on a tropical island, isolated from chemical and nuclear facilities, etc.), there is STILL at least one situation in which we would have to abandon almost everything. FIRE. We live in what amounts to a tropical rain forest, which, if we've had a drought, would burn merrily. We would need to evacuate in a very short time. It would help to have a list of the most important items to take: people, dog, cat, chickens (?), laptop computer, camping gear, short term rations, copies of insurance policies, etc. We need this planning, Y2K or not!

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), July 07, 1999.

This thread has stirred up so many thoughts and feelings.

"Just ask a combat vet. You first need to accept the reality around you, accept the possibility of harm or worse upon yourself, and make the plan to overcome these threats a reality."

If only this were clear to people. The average person resists this simple wisdom. Prime example... Jews who rationalized to the point of being imprisoned and murdered during WWII. What is familiar, even if it in unhealthy and/or painful to some degree, is often held on to for as long as possible by human beings. Why does the daughter of an alcoholic so typically often marry an alcoholic? I guess we have all tried and tried to get through to people we love. People who hold an optimistic view of Y2K's potential disruptions accuse those who prepare of "wanting" things to become bad. Balderdash! Ridiculous! I laughed at the poster who said he wanted to "die a fat man" though, because sometimes if I don't laugh I will cry. Don't those who choose to remain optimistic realize that many of us are just unwilling to gamble so much on such extreme variables? No. They have to mock. Maybe they get paid to do it. Maybe it helps them to shore up their denial system. Taz, we have alot of children at home (seven). Our baby girl turned one on the 4th of July. We are getting ready to start drilling very soon, mock power loss and mock bug-outs. We are in the process of preparing the same kind of bags that Grandpappy referred to. We have no real help or support system, because our closest friends DWGI and ditto for family. I sent money so my mother could stock up on insulin. Money is gone, only two extra months stocked up. Figured out I better go out and get that insulin for her. The whole thing stinks,.. but there it is, whether we like it or not. We are not just looking at Y2K, but the fragility of our world's stability. Will there be a great crash and Depression? Will America be attacked? Intelligence Digest (read by heads of state) has reported that since Klinton has ordered the military to sustain a first strike before launching one of our own, that Russia is now confident that she can win a nuclear war by debilitating America with the first wave of bombs. Americans do seem to believe that we are magically immune to the diseases that curse other nations, such as war, famine, and loss of freedom. Why should we be? Alexis de Tocqueville once commented that America was great because she was good, and that if she ceased to be good, she would cease to be great. Has that day arrived? The majority of people don't bother to vote. Babies are killed at prom, and tossed in dumpsters. Kids are killing kids in horrific ways, and seem to have absolutely no remorse or sense of wrong-doing. Marriage is a legal technicality to be observed or dissolved according to whether people feel like being married. Homosexuals, although only 2% of the population, push for more and more rights and influence, while their national organization refuses to disassociate itself from NAMBLA, the North American Man Boy Lover Association (promoting pedophilia). Our controlled media does not show their parades where children wear dog collars and are walked like dogs. People are seemingly numb to the lies and corruption and cover-ups that are common place among our leaders and polliticians. Is America good? We have just been involved in an illegal war. America is hated and envied by most foreigners. And yet, most people stupidly believe that we will never be attacked. Then there are the warnings about solar flares. If anyone has recently studied Bible prophecies, it is sobering to the bone to realize how many events are shaping and positioning to fulfill what was written centuries ago. I am typical of most parents, especially mothers, in that I want to create a secure "nest" for our kids. The thought of "bugging out" is very unwelcome, but we will prepare to do whatever we have to do to protect our children. I do believe in God, and I do believe that Jesus was sent by Him. So maybe there are those who believe I am just addicted to the opiate of the masses, but my faith sustains me. We have already weathered mentally ill family members, and worse. We have had things happen to us that you think only "happen to other people" already, too personal to mention here. Our faith in God kept us from disintegrating as a family, and our marriage has not only survived but grown stronger. Maybe this is why I can accept the possibility that life "as we know it" could and might change for the worse more easily than my friends.

I appreciate everyone sharing on this thread, but especially those of you who are so faithful and patient to answer questions and offer the wisdom of experience. At the risk of sounding maudlin, I do wish I could hug some of you. You have given so much of your time and knowledge, and your contributions have helped so much! Thanks again!

-- Mumsie (Shezdremn@aol.com), July 07, 1999.

BigDog: I have posted many times that flexibility and adaptability are keys to being able to deal with change and uncertainty, including Y2K induced change and uncertainty. We may lose so many things, despite the best laid plans, but we will have our minds and our skills wherever we go or find ourselves. They cannot be stolen or confiscated. This is perhaps a big reason why I ask so many questions that do not have ready answers  to provoke thought, to clarify my own thoughts, and to solicit the thoughts of others. Change remains the only constant. We must prepare for change itself by exercising our minds.

Then there is the importance of thinking outside of the box. Y2K itself is outside of the box. This is another of the main reasons I start the threads that I do. To encourage thought in new directions and reactions to the unexpected. I dont know how many times I have posted that whatever actually happens will end up being different than anything we can expect ahead of time.

So flexibility, adaptability, skills and knowledge, trying to anticipate various scenarious, thinking out of the box, etc., all come into play. We will have to deal with change and uncertainty with or without Y2K. Its just part of life.

Of the many threads I started on the TBY2000 forum, one in particular was always a favorite for me (the link below), and it dealt with this very subject of change and thinking out of the box. If you missed it, take a look. You may never look the same way at a traffic light again! Let me know what you think.

Here is the hotlink:

People and Resistance to Change

url: http://greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=000Jdc

-- Rob Michaels (sonofdust@net.com), July 07, 1999.

Wow! I am so deeply moved by the responses to your excellent thread, BD, that I have tears in my eyes...at lunch at work no less. Thank each one of you for sharing so openly your profoundest thoughts on this matter. I have very, very few persons with whom I can dialog on this level...really only one who has taken the ramifications of Y2K to this point of realization, so it is very helpful to hear all of you fellow-GIs speak your hearts. It gets very lonely out here!!

I have printed out this thread, and will copy it for distribution on July 13 to the first (belated!) meeting of my church's Y2K Committee, led by a man who didn't even appoint one until I complained, because he is a Polly who doesn't think anything is necessary...our leader in the White House is telling us all we need to know, etc. Please pray me through this encounter. I plan to also give it to others who need to move to this level.

For me, the pathos of my own situation is that I can only stand my ground in my condo in a Virginia suburb of DC, across the street from subsidized housing in which reside gang members, due to which we've had to hire off-duty police to patrol. My lovely county has 80 gangs with over 800 members, according to the Gangbusters Unit who addressed us homeowners. I haven't anywhere else to which I can bug out, nor the means with which to do so. In my mental preparations for how I will handle possible sewage backing up into not only my own condo, but the one above me (ugh!) or how I can stay awake and alert round-the-clock for self-protection, I have come up against big question marks that are pretty frightening.

I've tried to learn of others who are willing to form little prepared communities for mutual aid, but thus far have come up with nothing.

If it were not for my faith in the Lord, and my daily prayer life, I am sure that I would not have been able to even come this far in preparations. I am still flexible, but hope I am also durable.

-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), July 08, 1999.

Big Dog,

What a thought provoking question. I have wrestled with it since yesterday, had a conversation with son touching upon it and I even have toyed with it in word processor to help myself come up with "my" answer.

Of course fire or chemical spill, it is easy to say lets go. I have kept a family bug out bag for well over 12 years. Although my skills are rusty, my son and I used to "play Indian games" in the woods when he was younger, moving quietly and leaving no tracks; and we embraced the lessons we learnt in cub/boy scouts. But for this answer, I am going to stick with the "human aspect" of the question; and only in the sense of post y2k, i.e. staying at home vs bugging out.

I can easily see myself living with a crumbled infastructure, economic depression, even dealing with a true diet of sustinance. I often fret over how casually folks let the predictions of an "8" or a "10" roll off the tounge, (and really no critisizm intended here, just looking for answers myself), but I often wonder if they are personally able to see the life changes they are attaching to a number. Now the question is can I project myself (visualization as Rob stated before) into existing that sort of life. Well I can, but I can't see it as a life on the run if what I am running from would eventually catch up with me anyways.

Someone, I forget whom, once critisized me here for stating that I would share whatever resources I had left with the "roving mobs." My point at that time was that I wouldn't expect the majority of these folks to be comprised of all male gangs, but rather families, families and children. This, I still believe.

If things got that bad, ones only option's would be to defend against one mob at a time, until finally one got the best of you; run yourself until you eventually became someone you didn't recognize, capable of who knows what in the name of survival; or "surrender" for lack of a better word to what will be, relying on faith alone.

At the time of that former post, I was told that I was not a survivalist. Then, and after much thought now, I can only say so be it. I would not want to meet my maker with freash blood, be it innocent or not, on my hands, nor would I want that to be my son's possible last vision of his mother.

So I guess I will rely totally on faith. We have prepared as best we possibly can. We live in such an isolated area, that turely to be faced with this situation means society is in very dire straits.

If I may make one last example: We where all totally enchanted by the story tellers tale of Helen and her daughter, and our story teller has yet to return to the tale. (unless I missed a further installment) But the last I read was where Helen was put in a position of self-defense to the point of taking a human life. We can all, on a realistic level, see how it was neccesary, and we can all find suitable justification for it, as would the law in real time. And there the story ends?

War veterns and law enforcement Mumsie, the latter of which I have some experience with. Story teller has no concept of where to take Helen's charactor from here. The rest would be fiction written within fiction, unless he has been there done that, and perhaps he/she has. The rest is for us all to figure out...which is perhaps the point intended.

I can not speak for folks in the city, that is different I think, nor would I want my thoughts interpreted as advice, but in this very rural home...I am staying put.

-- Lilly (homesteader145@yahoo.com), July 08, 1999.

Good question BD- I have not given any tyhought to havng to leave here. The thought is apalling. I guess i have assumed that we're far enough away from most things that would be happening- although North of one of those "not-ready nukes"..... But- if TSHTF, we live in a serious Northern environment- travel is iffy much of the winter, and I can't imagine "the hords" invading in wintertime here- how could they get here? Don't live near any chem factories that I know of either. So- just assumed we'd be here at home. Come spring- who knows what would be happening......But- in winter- not sure how survivable "bugging out" could be up here-

-- farmer (hillsidefarm@drbs.com), July 09, 1999.

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