Everyone is preparing for something. Some of you are preparing for a storm that could cause you to lose electrical power for several days. Others are stocking up to prepare for the possibility of being laid off from their job for an extended period of time. Other folks are preparing for more exotic calamities like draught, an economic collapse, war, widespread civil unrest, solar flares (the cause of the beautiful aurora borealis), pandemic disease…you name it. Or read more about it here.
The possibilities are endless. Sadly, the probabilities of one or more of them occurring in our lifetime is increasing steadily.
Our concern is that what too many people are “preparing” for is to stand in line for the government to rescue them when hard times come. Instead of pre-planning and saving for their own rainy day (or week, or year), too many people are planning to make their problem everyone else’s problem.
I understand that line of reasoning. We’ve worked hard, paid our taxes, and seen Wall Street banks and big corporations be bailed out (with our money!) for too long. So now when we need a bailout, we expect the government to be there for us, too. But the government no longer has any money. They broke the piggy bank long ago. They can’t just “go to the bank” and get more.
I remember Hurricane Katrina. Families relocated by the government to another state. Living in motel rooms or small trailer homes for months and months after the storm. And those were the lucky ones. How many others endured the refugee camp environment of the New Orleans Superdome?
What all of those people had in common is that they didn’t provide for themselves. An overwhelming need arose that they hadn’t prepared for and suddenly their need for food, water, shelter, security, and more became someone else’s responsibility. Their desperate need caused them to lose the ability to make their own decisions and plot their own course, and placed those things in the hands of overwhelmed government agencies. Their desperate need and unpreparedness also caused them to lose the ability to help others.
I don’t want to be like that. I don’t want to be put in that situation. And I don’t want you to be there, either. I can’t guarantee that developing an emergency preparedness plan, stocking some extra food, and learning some new skills will save you and your loved ones from everything that might come your way. But I strongly believe that doing something to become more prepared for the things that you think may adversely impact you is better than being doing nothing and finding yourself helpless to meet your own basic needs.
The people of New Orleans were warned repeatedly, days in advance of the coming storm. Some didn’t believe the warnings and went about in business-as-usual mode. Others just didn’t seem to care and allowed their problems to become someone else’s problem. But others heeded the warnings and took action. Which would you rather be?
I believe that warnings are sounding all around us today. I believe that it’s time for all of us to take some steps to get ready for the approaching day. Are you ready to take some first steps toward becoming prepared?