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Being a Survivor

BY MICHAEL REISIG –

I like to consider myself someone not easily surprised. In this world there are generally two kinds of people – those who are ahead of the curve and those who are behind it. Folks who are behind the curve are always complaining about life biting them in the rear – they just can’t understand how they came up short, found themselves at a disadvantage, got taken advantage of – all of a sudden…

But the truth is, only about 10 percent of the bad things that happen in your life are a total surprise – the rest are the result of poor planning, lack of vision, and plain old laziness.

I think of myself as a survivor, or survivalist, by nature – not the wild-eyed, fully automatic, anti-federal government variety, but rather an individual who takes advantage of the available resources to prepare for and overcome negative contingencies. Survivalists (rural or urban), share several common traits, the most important being intuition. (Intuition is partly innate and partly learned.) Everyone has a little of it, but the more you practice it, the better it works.

Survivalists are rarely surprised. They pay attention – they’re two moves in front of their opponents, like a good chess player. They don’t wait complacently for bad things or good things to come to them. They set courses for good things, they practice positive thinking and they’re goal oriented. But they also maintain peripheral vision at all times. They are watching for the negative forces in life, accepting that they exist, and they prepare for small and large contingencies. Which brings me to my point in this writing…

I watch the 6 o’clock news and I’m often left with a profound sense of apprehension for this country and this world. I would love to be wrong, but I’m fairly convinced we are on the cusp of darkness – there is little question that cataclysmic cultural, ideological, and very possibly geological changes lie in wait, not just for this nation, but mankind in general. Most of us who are honest with ourselves recognize this, but the truth is, better than 80 percent of the population will be taken by surprise when it happens.

Given a bad situation nationally or globally, (whether it’s a two-week ice storm or an EMP) we live in the perfect place for survival – the Ouachita Mountains – the geologically secure spine of our continent, with an abundance of wild game, water, and fertile land. But location is only a part of the equation. How many of you have 50 gallons of fresh water, at least enough canned and dried goods for 60 days, medical supplies and extra prescription medicine, flashlights and oil lanterns, an extra tank of propane for the BBQ grill, a generator, at least 30 gallons of gasoline, a wood stove for alternate heat, and last but not least several good weapons and lots of ammunition, tucked away?

If you live in the country, do you have a hand pump on your well? Is your property cleared sufficiently around your house so that you can view intruders at all angles? Do you have a small four-wheeler, motorcycle, or even better, a horse? Do you have a garden – and seeds for that garden? Do you have fruit trees? Solar power? A HAM radio?

The sad truth is, if we are faced with a major catastrophe, and standard resources, like fuel, water, grocery store food, medicines, and possibly power sources dry up overnight, upwards of 75 percent of the population will succumb.

But there will be a handful who will grit their teeth, square their shoulders, and with the knowledge and strength of advanced planning, will say, “I’m going to get through this freaking thing no matter what!”

Are you one of them?

The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the ownership and staff of The Polk County Pulse. Michael Reisig is a freelance writer and published author whose works are reproduced throughout the globe.

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