Sunday, August 16, 2020

Sobering Reminders

For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?

from "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran
You can call me a prepper, but I'm not the only one. I'm not even close to the measures some people take. And my kit is mostly coincidental. Funny how a prepper's kit looks remarkably similar to a weekend-camper's kit.

I think Gibran has some good ideas, but they have some problems. Namely, they lack context.

But God also helped those who helped themselves, and presumably expected the chosen... to bring some common sense to the party.

from "The Long Earth" by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
In the ideal state, where every member of a population is on equal footing--they have the same information, the same education, the same warnings about the future, the same abilities to prepare for it--I would be happy to distribute my hoard among the people I share my surroundings with. But it's long since established that our world is pretty damn far from ideal.

Even with all those things considered equal, there will still be people who think other people will provide for them and won't bother to do it themselves.

Sure, call me selfish. But don't call me unprepared.

We've gotten no shortage of warnings that horrible things are happening in the world, and even I, with my head partially buried in the sand, have seen some things coming.

There were a lot of people standing around who were more prepared than me... they had brains, and it was a sobering reminder to me of which was more important.

from "Changes" by Jim Butcher

I'm reminded of someone I used to date. Their biological parents did a terrible job preparing them for life. It's not so much what they did or didn't teach as far as specific lessons, but how they failed to teach how to learn. That's what much of schooling is, or is supposed to be: not about teaching you shit, but teaching you how to learn.

If there's something I find myself lacking knowledge in, I go look for it myself. But that person... until they learned how, they were stuck relying on others to provide them with the knowledge, and I confess, I am a terrible teacher.

God replied,
"I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"

"The Drowning Man," author unknown

There is so much that so many of us take for granted.

Some people take things for granted because they don't know any better. Some do it because they think someone else will do it for them. Some do it because they don't believe any of the signs that life throws at them. And some ignore the signs under the disillusion that they will be Saved.

I'd rather take my chances with the wilderness than worry about carrying more than my own troubles on my back.