Originally published at Prepography, Andrew J. Jackson has generously allowed me to share his article with Survival Sherpa readers. Mr. Jackson approaches the study of preparedness, risk, enemy capabilities, economics, politics, the rise and fall of cultures/civilizations and just about everything else from a systems perspective. He is an entrepreneur working as a risk manager for hire. He has 27 years military experience beginning with an active duty stint as an 11B (Infantryman) in the 82nd Airborne Division and am currently a Reserve field grade Military Intelligence Officer. He is a generalist.
Posted September 23, 2012 | By Andrew J. Jackson
I’ve had several conversations with some of my closest confidants recently that have opened my eyes and eliminated a blind spot in my understanding of (some) other people’s preparedness paradigms…or lack thereof. It seems that some people fear thinking about preparedness. These people avoid the thought or discussion of perils and preparedness topics. Some people go so far as to avoid entertainment that deals with preparedness or the consequences from a lack of preparedness.
You may be chuckling too yourself at my former ignorance, but as a lifelong prepper (in mindset if not always in actuality) I never stopped to consider that someone would willing chose ignorance. I get it now, though. As a business owner I receive phone calls all the time from sales professionals wanting to sell me the next great thing to make my business grow. If they get through my well trained staff they rarely get past the first sentence of their sales pitch before I politely thank them for calling and tell them I’m not interested. At that point I don’t know the details of their pitch but I do know there are only so many hours in the day and I can’t spend them all listening to every telemarketer that calls. The bottom line is that I’m not open to whatever new information and knowledge (with the resulting price tag) that those telemarketers wish to ‘bless’ me with. By choosing ignorance of their ‘pitch’ I don’t have to deal with the potential discomfort of living without a product or service I might need or the discomfort of living without the money that I just spent on that product or service.
My prepper-shy friends are no different than I am with the telemarketer’s sales pitches except that missing this opportunity will potentially affect more than just the bottom line. These friends have expressed to me that the potential discomfort that they are avoiding is fear but they are already operating on a fear of the unknown. These people believe that the study of and actions necessary to become better prepared are attributable to and result from fear. By not entertaining the idea of preparedness they are avoiding living in fear. Unfortunately, this reaction is based on a half-formed thought.
According to Psychology Today “Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are far from life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason… exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them.” In other words, the more experience and knowledge you have about something the less fearful you will be. Additionally, even when the situation is life and death we must learn to banish fear to the point where we can do what is necessary to assure the survival of our loved ones and ourselves.
In the Army we know that people are fearful of new situations, whether it be public speaking (briefing in military parlance) or battle, so we train the troops… then we train them some more… and finally we train them again. Our training generally involves imparting initial knowledge and skills followed by exposing the troops to increasing realistic training scenarios. Military training is designed largely, not just to teach job functions and skills, but also to banish fear…or at least to keep fear at bay so that the mission can be accomplished.
So, my prepper-shy friends, I propose to you that your fear is primarily fear of the unknown. By avoiding preparedness you perpetuate fear and by exposing yourself to that which you fear…you will banish that fear or at least greatly reduce it. Follow these three steps to banish your fear of preparedness: