Forget Doom and Gloom: Preparedness is the Ultimate Act of Optimism

optimism keller

Does this sound familiar?

You’re talking to a friend or family member who isn’t on board with preparedness.  (And it’s even worse when they think they know what’s going on in the world but garner their so-called “information” from network news sources.)  You try for the millionth time to get them to consider stocking up on a few things and they say this:

Life’s too short for all of this doom and gloom.  Live a little! You’re such a pessimist!

My response to this is that preparedness is the ultimate form of optimism.

One who practices skills, makes dramatic lifestyle changes, and studies current events critically may come across to the uninitiated as a person who has buried himself or herself in negativity, but in fact, one who prepares is saying to life, “Whatever comes, we are not only going to live through it, my family is going to thrive, and I will not bend my knee to tyranny for an MRE and a bottle of water.”

I think that methods of preparedness can be compared to love songs on the radio.  Bear with me through this analogy.

If the songs that make you think of your significant other are sad, with reference to breaking up and getting back together, unsatisfied yearnings, arguments, frustration, anger, and broken hearts, you just might be doing the whole “love” thing wrong.  Shouldn’t the song that makes you think of the one you love be happy, upbeat, full of joy? Shouldn’t thoughts of that special someone make you more prone to goofy smiles and a warm glow than to melancholy longing or the urge to gleefully burn all of their belongings in a great pile in the front yard?

It’s exactly the same with preparedness.  Thoughts of your plans, your lifestyle, and your loaded pantry room should give you a sense of peace and security.  If your state of preparedness makes you feel unhappy, stressed, angry, or resentful, you’re doing something wrong.

geekoptimism

Here are some examples of how prepping is pure, unadulterated optimism:

  • Your area is under a severe storm warning.  While everyone else you know is rushing to the store and knocking over old ladies to clear the shelves, you’re tying down some outdoor furniture, filling the bathtubs with water, bringing in  some extra firewood, cooking up some stuff that would be likely to go bad during an extended power outage, and getting the candles and lanterns ready. Perhaps you are discussing with your kids why you’re doing what your doing and using it as a teachable moment.  There is no panic, only the peace of mind you feel when you don’t have to try to get things that everyone else is trying to procure at the exact same frenzied moment.
  • During this hypothetical storm, the power goes out for two weeks, water is under a boil order, and trees are down everywhere.  You remain in the safety of your home with your family, not risking downed power lines and falling branches from storm-damaged trees.  You heat up hearty meals using off-grid cooking methods with which you are already familiar.  You spend the two week break playing boardgames, reading books, doing art projects. You have plenty of food, plenty of water, and plenty of light. To your kids, this is an adventure and to you it’s a little break from your regular work and from technology.
  • Heaven forbid that you should lose your job, but if you did, you have the security of a supply of food to see you through. You know how to grow your own food to supplement this supply because you’ve been doing it for years. You know a million different ways to do things manually and save yourself money.  While a loss of income is a crisis, for someone who has readied themselves for the possibility, it could also be an opportunity to seek a new job, to homeschool the kids, to start a business of their own.  If they don’t feel that horrible sense of desperation, realizing that the mortgage payment is coming out in 3 weeks, and they don’t have the money to pay it, the utilities are already close to being cut off, and there are 3 slices of bread in the house, with two of them being the crusty heels that nobody wants to eat, then the person is a little more free to search for the silver lining.
  • One fine summer day when you are enjoying a barbecue at a friends house, you listen to other folks complaining about the cost of produce at the grocery store due to the droughts and poor growing conditions across the country.  You realize that you haven’t purchased a single vegetable since your spring lettuce and peas prolifically came in, and you had absolutely no idea that everyone else was paying double or triple what they paid last year for a bag of baby spinach or a pound of tomatoes.
  • If someone you know falls on hard times, you are always able to lend a hand with a bag full of groceries that came directly from your pantry.  You don’t even have to think twice about helping out, because you are prepared for the long haul.

What non-preparedness people just can’t seem to understand is that what we seek is peace of mind, freedom, and security for our families, not just a weekend at Disneyworld.  We don’t wish to delude ourselves with the soothing lies and distractions of the mainstream media so that we can blithely go about the business of trying to guess which B-list performer is going to take the crown (do they have a crown?) on Dancing with the Stars. We like reality and we’d rather not have surprises.  We can still have fun that doesn’t compromise our ideals, sabotage our progress, or deter us from our paths.

We don’t want to be lulled into a false sense of prosperity, hypnotized by our iPhones and our “smart” wristwatches, or pacified with governmental lies about the “recovery.” We don’t want to deal with the aftereffects of shooting poisons into our babies, the ill health that comes from eating substances that aren’t even food but are guaranteed by the government to be “safe”, or stumble through life in a fluoride-induced brain fog.

We just want to go out to our garden and get some unsprayed heirloom tomatoes, for crying out loud, and thrive on real food, clean water, and an avoidance of Big Pharma chemicals.  When I look at my own rosy-cheeked child and compare her glowing health with that of her friends, I am thankful every single day that we take the extra steps to keep her nourished, toxin-free,  and whole, in defiance of a government and media that would have her chemically dumbed down and poisoned, literally, for profit.

Here’s a final analogy.

Imagine that you are out for a walk, and you get lost in the woods. You end up wandering around for a couple of days, and you’re exhausted and hungry.  You come upon two bushes, different varieties of plants, both with brightly colored berries.

  • Would you rather know for certain that one of those bushes bears edible fruit that won’t harm you, and consume those berries with confidence because you have taken the effort to be educated on the flora of the area?
  • Or would you prefer to have absolutely no idea which one is safe because the thought that you might have to rely on berries in the woods to survive is pessimistic, and you refused to spoil a great hiking trip with negative thinking beforehand?

Preparedness: It means that whatever may come, you intend to not only grimly survive, but to thrive. It means that you foresee a day when the imminent threat, whatever that may be, diminishes, and you will rebuild. It means that you have taken responsibility for yourself and your family, and that you will not be forced to rely on others. It means that your mind is focused on life itself, not some imaginary life of some reality star that actually has no grasp on reality whatsoever. You have chosen not to be misguided by the lies that the media uses to pacify you.

Preparing yourself is the most optimistic and hopeful thing you can do in a world that would prefer to choose immediate gratification over a firm grasp on reality. Readying yourself to deal with whatever might happen is a joyful act, an expression of gratitude to the Creator, peace made tangible, and the personification of faith itself.

Also, a quick  note to beginners:

Please, don’t let the thought of all of the preps that you do not yet have bring you down. It’s a process, and the most important prep is already in place: your mindset.  Once you know the possibilities, accept them, and begin to prepare, you are already far ahead of most of the neighborhood. You’ve taken the most important step, the first one, and the rest will come as long as you persevere.  Don’t be discouraged by how much you have left to do, instead, be encouraged by how far ahead you are compared to your starting point. Never underestimate the magnitude of the importance of your state of mind.

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity;

an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.

~ Winston Churchill

Make this weekend wonderful~

About the author:

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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16 Comments  to  Forget Doom and Gloom: Preparedness is the Ultimate Act of Optimism

  1. Kulafarmer says:

    Good article Daisy,
    For me it is quite empowering to know that barring extreme circumstances i could just sit tight and suvive for an extended period of time with little or no outside inputs,,,
    I have no respect nor pity for anyone who choses to ignore their surrounding world and go through life as though nothing could change or affect them negatively,
    Just the weather brings uncertain outcomes, then you take man and it puts things into a whole different realm, humans are a problem, not all of us have a conscience and not all of us are more prone toward peace and living and let live,,,
    Far too many who feel they need to rule others,

  2. Fred says:

    Daily. To the point I know they will be cannon fodder. An ol man, like myself, well, ill be gone soon. But you young bloods, forgive my generation for not fighting this back when we could have saved the country easier. Your left with some hard times coming. If one of your relitives is not awake, perhaps a good ol fashioned reality check is in order. Never has a civilization been in place, in our known history, that had the means to lull so many to sleep, keep them driven, make them slow;y except thier situation, as one would slowly boil a frog. I take heart in knowing there are at least 15 million armed ready patriots, but each month, the communists gain ground, an uneasy fear stands in the hearts of millions, to those of you thinking your masters care about you, when disaster strikes, well, you face a worse horror, watching those you love, exterminated, for nothing more that having a free spirot, WAKE UP! By by American pie, HAPPENNED 40 years ago, I lived it, for those of you that were born after 1970, i feel for you, you never got to feel the last days of real freedom, of sanity, of our great society. Those days men were free, and a man had all his rights of a natural man. In fact, the very last humans of free, real freedom, now hide like rats, forced into silence, already mass exoding to safer countries. Stunning to me, watching 5 generations pass away, in my mind the echos of the way it was. Only a coward, now ignores the situation now, to them, you dam cowards, sheep, blind mullets. To those who sold out for food stamps, that government position of power, your abusing and dont even have the brains to do, all you little obamites, with your lil free phones, ratting off your fellow man, i hope your end is bitter. May your seed vanish from the face of the earth. As beheadings, go on every day, as half the nation prepares around you, do you think they forgot or will forget your name? To those activly instituting these death panels, you are guilty of murder, plain and simple, and will be judged as such by history. This free land that you were born into, has been hyjacked by communists, that is a reality, but, they ARE outnumbered, 100 to one. Disaster IS coming, pick your poison, a solar disaster inside attack by radical muslims, facing UN troops,Oo, and learn Russian, THESE THINGS HAVE BECOME FACT. You young, have one last chance, in my opinion, and force is not an option, right now, your power lies in preparation, I personally believe, from massive facts, leaks fron the scientific community, and military, your greatest worry is not civil war, but disaster , ll say it plain, a pole flip, that will kill millions in 45 minutes, if you can survive that, a new world waits, but one where armies are in place, to restor “order” Ill not write a book, but i will say many good men have been silenced, men who tried to tell you. Its begun, you WILL know, first, our planet will begin wobbling, the 3 days of darkness, WILL happen, as this planet tilts 90 degrees, one side bathed in deadly gamma radiation that will kill anyone on the surface, on the 3d day, the poles will complete the transition, and ALL the oceans will gravity pull towards the north you have known, from all available info, the antartic, will end up, NNE, in less than one hours, the crust will move, mountains raise, continents disapear. Location location location. Stay away from denver, its already reserved. Daisy and many know safe areas. Be prepared to be underground two weeks, then it MAY be settled enough. Its obvious, all preparation by the major powers, the reason infrastructure rebuild has not occured, why rebuild it now, .. This is the reality the scientific community is facing, in this case, the truth is bitter. No room for the weak. You have been warned enough, all the facts are available, proove me wrong, you cant.
    Sadly, yes, its true.

  3. G says:

    One childhood year, I discovered “Little House in the Big Woods.” This book had a big impact on me. One aspect that made a lasting impression was the self sufficiency that the Ingalls family had. They made things instead of buying them. I thought it was the best thing I ever heard! Both my parents came from major northeast cities, and we lived in a post WW2 burbs.

    We got the news several months ahead of time. The department that my husband worked for was being eliminated. This gave me enough time to put up as much food as possible. On the heels of the employment challenge, we had snow/ice storms and plunging temperatures from January to March that gave us even more challenges! In the end, we had no need to run to the grocery store. We ate well. We even had efficient heating back up when the fuel oil truck could not deliver as the road was not plowed well by the town. (Exactly what do I pay my taxes for?) I am glad that we had continuing electricity the entire time, but even if that failed, we were prepared.

    We both feel very blessed.

    • Daisy Luther says:

      Dear G ~

      I also love that book. In fact, it was the first chapter book I ever read by myself. I remember checking it out from the library because my teacher had begun reading it to the class and a chapter at a time was just not fast enough for me. :) I read the chapter about the family’s Christmas to my children every year as one of our own holiday traditions.

      Have a great weekend!

      Daisy

  4. canadagal says:

    Daisy, what an uplifting article. Thank-you. If I may I will copy it & pass it on to others. One daughter-in-law doesn’t want to hear all this “conspiracy theory” but she loves to save money & knows when coffee, tp, etc comes on sale so often buys a years supply @ that time. They just bought 1 cow & 1 pig & they are now in their freezer. Even with her thoughts they will be OK. Another daughter-in-law feels some what the same but since they have been in the scouting movement for years, & she’s an EMT they will also be OK. The 3rd daughter-in-law doesn’t deal much with out side events so could be blind-sided but she can not understand why people would only have a few days food on hand. She is set up for several months. Of course all 3 families live in cities so water will be their big problem. I think living on the Canadian prairies where a blizzard could keep you home bound for several days & having parents & grandparents who tell of longer periods of isolation fixes in peoples minds that we need to be prepared. With better roads people here are getting lazier about it though.

    Thank-you again Daisy. This is my philosophy too but you have said it so well that I’d like to give copies out to family & others.

  5. hardscrabble farmer says:

    When we decided to leave the comfortable world of suburban consumerism in order to raise our children on a farm we were driven by fear. We never said that at the time, but events like Katrina and the subsequent economic crash of 2008 figured prominently in our thinking at the time.

    It took us a couple of years to really get the hang of farming as a way of life and to surrender our former way of thinking. The things we had once though of as important were no longer even a part of our lives- new cars, cell phones, even a watch were relics of our past.

    Today we are driven by love- for our children, for our livestock, our land and our community. We are an integral part of something, not actors in a social skit. Where we once were consumers, we are now producers. We not only feed ourselves, but our herds and flocks and by extension our friends and neighbors. I can’t say that there is nothing that concerns me about what I see as the slow decline of the America I knew as a child, but we no longer dwell on the negative because there is so much in our lives that is positive. We have come to love the life we have chosen not because it is an alternative to living in fear and worry, but because it allows us to not be concerned with those issues and events that we have no control over. Every day is an opportunity to do something small and personal. To plant, to build, to harvest and to create and with those kinds of activities guiding our days, we cannot help but be completely optimistic about our own future.

    • FretlessFiddler says:

      What a great comment. This has been our experience also, but I have not been able to express it so perfectly. I love knowing there are more and more people out there of a similar mind. It is so encouraging!

  6. T.C. says:

    Two books I can think of that I read as a child and young teen are “The Island of the Blue Dolphins” and “Alas, Babylon”

    These had a very big impact on my mind set. That, and growing up with the plans for a bomb shelter a fixture on the living room coffee table.

    The bomb shelter never got built in the corner of our basement. Mom had a cardboard box filled with canned goods stashed and that was it as far as “prepping” ever went, but she always kind of made a joke of “preparing for the siege” and it stuck with me.

    I’m confident in our preparations. Now, the only time I get anxious is when I have to leave our small town and travel to some huge city. Can’t ever wait to get home!

  7. Diane says:

    Daisy, that’s a great perspective on prepping and excellent advice for beginners.

    Many younger families at our church believed that they could not afford prepping. In response some experienced preppers put together a worksheet detailing local food resources (Costco is excellent) and links to storage supplies (food-grade pails, Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers) online. Families discovered that for just $10 per week, after 1 year their family could have 3,780 servings of emergency food (oats, beans, rice, dry milk). Plus it could be stored properly for a 25-year shelf life.

    As a result, several families got together and purchased in bulk. They learned how easy it is to seal Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers by viewing youtube videos. Then got together for a ‘pailing party’.

    Lastly and perhaps most valuable, if The Schumer Hits the Fan, these families have established the camaraderie to come together.

    • How hard would it be to get a copy of that spreadsheet? Obviously it’s local in nature, but I think it might make an interesting supplement for people on my end of the country.

  8. Snake Plisken says:

    Hi Daisy, what a wonderful article! I’m not much of a wordsmith but you said it all and very well.

    Prepping should be a positive experience. My father and several relatives think preppers are crazy and paranoid. While there are some real super whacko preppers out there ( Doomsday Preppers ) who go over the top and are generally portrayed negatively on TV they are the exception.

    I am filled with confidence and joy ( YES! Joy!) knowing that i can live a comfortable life for many months with out electrical power or trips to the supermarket when there is no food on the shelves. There is great satisfaction for me in prepping because there is always something to improve on or learn.

    There are a couple of things that drive my prepping. 1) It’s my hobby. 2) I want to be able to provide for some close friends and family if SHTF. 3) I’m honoring my grandparents and great grandparents who were very skilled at re purposing things and were very independent farmers and blue collar workers.

    I often wonder what my Grandpa Harry would say if we could have a conversation right now. I’d hope he would be proud of me for planning ahead, living frugally ( not really cheap but i know a good buy when I see one ), treating people with respect, growing my own food and tinkering in the yard, vehicles and home improvement projects. For me, independence and providing for myself where ever I can reminds me of a much simpler time with a lot less stress. Working in the garden or on the house takes me way away from the stressful job that I hold.

    I just got into gardening last year and was amazed at how well the garden did. Can’t wait to get outside and get busy in the garden and am expanding the size and scope.

    I suppose we all get down in the mouth once in while Daisy but the one way that I get back on top of my altitude ( yep Altitude!) is to look around me………..I’m blessed with a peace of mind. A roof, plenty of food and water, good friends and a huge manifest of blessings.

    Best,

    Snake Plisken

  9. hillbilly ny says:

    i would like to add, in this day and age it is not just importent but very importent to be able to take care of you self and your family if somrthing happens, just look at what is going on in ukrain. look how fast it happened,not that i think it will here but the fact is the people will suffer if thay dont have stuff put aside till thing get back to some sense of norm. the same thing can happen hear be it a storm or job loss or something worse like a flu outbreak . no matter what happens if you have something to get you through the crazy times till the dust settles you will thank god you prepared for a rainy day, and i think its going to rain hard in the very near future

  10. NetRanger says:

    Lots of wisdom in this article.

    This winter, for the first time in many years, we were snowed in. The whole area was buried and could not move. Though I had the generator ready, we never lost power. It was so nice sitting on six months of regular food plus another six months of MREs, grain and emergency food. My wife just happened to be doing her regular weekly grocery run right before the storm.

    The shelves were stripped, the milk and bread were all gone. She bought a couple cans of hair spray and a bag of flour and left. Not stressing about it, she didnt even mention it until i asked later.

    She didnt go shopping for the next three weeks. No big deal. Score one again for The Larder Deep.

  11. JdL says:

    Excellent! I don’t use the word “inspiring” very often, but this column is inspirational.

    My preps are rudimentary so far: a few dozen 2-liter bottles of water, a few weeks worth of bean dip and chicken spread (kept rotated, so it’s never spoiled, of course!). A generator and several 5-gallon cans of gas. I hope I’ll never need to use these, but if the occasion arises, I won’t starve or have to beg for MRE’s from government thugs with guns.

    And, speaking of thugs with guns (government or otherwise), if any of them try to break into my house and rob me during the emergency, they might find that doing so is a mistake. This also makes me feel empowered and optimistic.

  12. Miss Daisy,
    Kudos on another great article. I recently opined some very similar sentiments, but let me be the first to say that your explanation is much bettter than mine!
    Our preps have been more about skills and information than stockpiling. Knowledge is power, and knowledge is also portable.

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