One of the many questions we seem to encounter on the Prepper Journal from people new to prepping centers on tips for how to deal with our detractors. You all have at least one of them in your life; those people who for one reason or another think your idea of prepping is stupid. Either that or they believe some aspect of what you are preparing for or perhaps how you are prepping is out of phase with their version of reality. In some cases, these people who don’t feel the same importance we place on prepping are our loved ones – often the last person on earth you wouldn’t want on your side for something as important as this. Others are friends, family or acquaintances – even the media or maybe your favorite TV show might be casting your prepping activities in a negative light. At some point no matter how you try to convince them of the importance of preparing, the word ‘paranoid’ inevitably comes up.
I tried to distance myself from that word when I started prepping awhile back. Paranoia or Paranoid has such a negative connotation. Hey, Paranoia is a mental illness so most of us don’t want to be called that so it makes sense. Rather than spend a ton of time debating people on what makes sense to me I have decided that maybe it is time to embrace that word. I am paranoid as you say. OK fair enough but not just any ordinary garden variety paranoia. I suffer from practical paranoia but the good news is I have the cure.
What is Practical Paranoia?
Let’s take Webster’s definition of paranoia.
- A psychosis characterized by systematized delusions of persecution or grandeur usually without hallucinations.
- A tendency on the part of an individual or group toward excessive or irrational suspiciousness and distrustfulness of others.
Delusions of persecution? Psychosis? Do I mean to say that preppers are suffering from delusions? No I didn’t come up with that definition and I believe the clinical term isn’t precisely what is meant when your friends call you paranoid, but how does that relate to preppers? We take the term paranoia loosely to mean that the person in question fears something bad will happen to them that is not based in reality. The second definition amplifies this up a little by saying people who are paranoid are suspicious and distrustful. The ‘who’ or ‘what’ you are suspicious or distrustful of varies greatly by person and situation. The word paranoid is used to label anyone who is worried about anything bad happening by anyone who thinks that belief is unfounded. Delusional is another word lumped in there that just means what you (the paranoid one) think is false in the eyes of the accuser. It all boils down to words meant to convey you don’t know what you are talking about and the thing you are prepping for is not only false, but couldn’t happen and you are on the verge of psychosis simply for believing it.
I covered some of these topics in my article called Your Reason for Prepping is Stupid, but I wanted to bring this concept up again because I feel it is important to firmly acknowledge and validate your feelings in this respect and to further prescribe a course of treatment to any of you who have been diagnosed by your spouses, friends, family or co-workers. I do this because I believe that we are all called to take steps to prepare ourselves for emergencies in life and we need to act now. I think each of us has a responsibility if only to ourselves to make sure we are as able as possible to take care of ourselves and to learn again to depend on you first and foremost. This is survival from a different point of view.
Have you experienced any of these symptoms?
Why are people all over the world prepping? You can look at the Google Trends graph below for the word Prepping and see that worldwide interest in that term has risen a considerable amount in the last 10 years. Is it because the act of storing up supplies of food is trendy? Is it because our good old government is making self-reliance a top priority? Is it because as a society we are moving away from convenience and believing that everything is fine?
I believe and have stated this before that along with the news we see each day, people everywhere have a gut feeling that the world is due for a big old slap in the face. We have ridden on the gravy train for too long and the conductors know we are going off the rails. Without having to state a reason, millions of people are starting to look at the future without as much blind hope and optimism as they had in the past. They can read the basic economic data of a nation who is already over 18 Trillion dollars in debt but that doesn’t even count the over 1.2 quadrillion (yes that is a real number) of derivatives debt that we just signed up through our wonderful congress to fund. Again.
If it isn’t economic worries that don’t end with our country, deadly virus carriers that get flown to our country, tensions with foreign nations over trade, oil and stupid movies I am sure you can think of a reason why the outlook is bleak. Heck, if you are reading this blog and you think the world is headed for a new Renaissance of enlightenment, I think maybe you yourself are near a psychotic break. Does that mean I live in fear and worry all day because I sense trouble on the horizon? No.
Ask your doctor if Prepping is right for you.
Now, we will look at practical
- a : of, relating to, or manifested in practice or action : not theoretical or ideal
- <for all practical purposes>
- actively engaged in some course of action or occupation <a practical farmer>
If you have a fear of something happening, the logical thing to do about that is to take steps to prevent the event from happening or figuring out how you can make the event less harmful to you. This works on a million different items and causes you to become “actively engaged in some course of action”. If you are worried about an Economic Collapse, Hurricane, tensions with Russia, winter storms, earthquakes, zombies from mars, virus outbreak, cooties, big foot, tsunamis, tornadoes or simply losing your job, there are steps you can and should take now that can help. Taking steps to prepare for undue hardships for yourself or your family isn’t a mental defect. That is simple common sense.
I have said before that Prepping is pro-life which was a spin on the term to mean that anyone who prepares for emergencies is doing so because they want to live. Preppers want to live through whatever comes our way and even if there is no economic collapse, having a first aid bag in your car and the skills to treat injury could save the life of someone someday. Even if you never live through a hurricane that stored water could keep your family alive if the local water supply is contaminated for some reason. Even if zombies never show up on your doorstep, you might have to defend your neighborhood from thugs bent on destruction. None of this is crazy, it’s real life.
Prepping is not a fad and people do not do this to be cool. Preppers to the best of my knowledge aren’t usually portrayed in a good light and even the same government who tells you to make a 72-hour kit for your survival, has plans for confiscating food from preppers who thought enough to stock up in a time of crisis. Believing something bad could happen and taking steps to prepare is one of the smartest things you can do.
This year I haven’t made any new year’s resolutions but I am focusing a little more time, attention and resources on my own family survival plan. I view this as being practical and if believing dark days are headed our way makes me paranoid, fine. I am in good company.
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Contributed by Pat Henry of The Prepper Journal.