BE THANKFUL YOU’RE A PREPPER
At this time of year, most Americans come together to celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that, among other things, commemorates the cooperation between the early European settlers and the native Wampanoag population, along with the celebration of a successful fall harvest. Without that cooperation and the bounty from their crops, the Pilgrims probably would not have survived their first winter in their new home. (For the conservative Pilgrims to have celebrated for three days, they must have been pretty excited about their improving situation.)
These days, the fourth Thursday of November is also intended to remind us to pause a moment, take stock of what we have, appreciate our family and friends, good fortune, our American way of life and, ideally, reach out to those around us who might not be as well off as we are.
Of course, many people just look at this holiday as a long-awaited day or extended weekend off from work and an opportunity to overdose on football, protein, carbs and sugar, or to kick off the Christmas gift-buying blitz.
For traditionalists hosting a gathering of family and friends, there can be months of planning and a small fortune invested in ensuring the event is extraordinarily enjoyable for all the participants. There are multitudes of details to be addressed for everything from the menu and seating arrangements to lodging and travel logistics. In many cases, the host’s time-honored family traditions are in the process of being passed down to willing members of the next generation in hopes that the future’s connection with the past will continue to be as strong as ever.
Training has its place in the plan, as well.
For true preppers, a lot of the intricacies of this holiday are no great challenge. We know how to plan for all sorts of serious events; and while Thanksgiving is a wonderful, enjoyable time, it’s a good opportunity for us to make a dry run on our planning and execution skills for emergency situations. We know we’ll need to use those abilities at some point to protect our lives, so why not practice on this similarly complicated, but much-less-perilous, gathering? Hopefully, the worst-case scenario if your Thanksgiving plan tanks is no worse than cremating the turkey or forgetting to pick up Uncle Harry from the airport.
Conversely, I wonder how much farther along my emergency preparations would be if I committed the same time, resources and positive attitude to them as I do my Thanksgiving plans? How much more confident in my success would I be if I approached readiness for a disaster with the same focus and exuberance as I do my Thanksgiving prepping? After all, the stakes are a bit higher if my family and I are to survive a 1-in-1,000-year flood, a record-setting blizzard or a man-made catastrophe.
If I’m honest, I’m going to have to work harder to change my mindset from one of great concern about the assortment of potential emergencies we could face to focusing on the benefit of being able to survive a serious incident and thrive in its aftermath.
Unlike my focus on Thanksgiving, where I look forward to the event itself but am apprehensive about the ensuing days of monotonous leftovers, I ought to zero in more on how relieved I’ll be after the disaster, when we will have as much of what we need as we could have planned for.
(I guess, in retrospect, I’ve known all along that I have to deal with the turnip casserole if I’m going to get the apple pie à la mode … .)
Best wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving!