photo credit: Jill Greenseth

The world is falling apart.

At least, that’s what you might think if you pay attention to the news. Each day we are virtual, passive witnesses to sheer chaos: fires, murders, suicide bombings, military combat, earthquakes, economic turmoil, immorality displayed as public virtue, government corruption, and the list goes on.

Still worse, many people currently feel that the bubble is about to burst—meaning, that the problems we face today are greater and more compounded in intensity than those we’ve previously overcome. Astronomical national and personal debt, worldwide military engagements, increasing unemployment, a highly devalued dollar, and other alarms are all sounding off in people’s heads as they wake up and realize how bad things really are. What, then, are we to do? How do we react to the tidal wave of terror packaged into small sound-bytes by the local anchorman?

Given the precarious situation, and in light of the difficulty one individual has in attempting to effect change, it seems that the majority of people are in “duck and cover” mode, reminiscent of elementary school drills to prepare for an earthquake. With a looming economic earthquake about to wreak havoc, many feel that ducking and covering is the right thing to do—that instinctive urge to preserve one’s own life. This line of thinking asserts that it’s better to look after one’s self, one’s family, and help those in your sphere of influence, than to worry about trying to change the inevitable. There is a great deal of truth in this argument, and it properly manifests itself in time-tested wisdom such as having saved money on hand, food stored in your house, and a set of skills practiced and prepared for potential disaster.

But ducking and covering also implies that you’ve given up hope and are waiting for things to blow over. I believe that there will (and perhaps soon) come a time for this, but it hasn’t come yet. There is still work to be done. That work, however, should absolutely take a backseat to your personal preparedness; you are no good to anybody if you aren’t in a position to help yourself and your family should something happen. There’s no use in trying to improve society when you are inadequately prepared yourself.

Change is indeed coming, but not the kind the American people were sold by a smooth, eloquent wolf in sheep’s clothing. There will be great trials in our near future, and the situation we currently find ourselves in is not getting any better. While responsible citizens always have a charge to try to improve the direction of society and secure a better future for our children, sometimes the security of that uncertain future requires hunkering down and weathering the storm. But it’s unwise to run to the cellar until it’s absolutely necessary, since we can make better use of our time in better preparing ourselves, our neighbors, and trying to minimize the damage while it’s still possible.

Once you have adequately prepared, you are in a better position to help others, spend time on other matters (such as continuing to hold politicians accountable and lobbying for positive change), and lead those who failed to so prepare. It is here that we see the wisdom of acting, instead of being acted upon.

If you don’t have several months of food, water, medicine, and money stored away securely, then you need to act quickly. Whether the crap hits the fan hits in a week or a decade, you’ll be secure and better prepared to handle whatever does come our way. Instead of being a burden on family and friends with the needs you didn’t prepare for, you’ll be able to help others around you who failed to prepare. And maybe—just maybe—you’ll never need to use what you’ve stored and tucked away for a rainy day. But I doubt it.

We need leaders in this country who are moral, who understand and live principle, and who model their public lives after their private virtue. We need responsible, every-day citizens to carry the torch of liberty and stem the tide of tyranny approaching our doorsteps. But most of all, we need to encourage personal preparedness and general readiness for whatever is headed our way. We need you to get up and get involved, but only after you’ve readied yourself against whatever cloudy storm that may be on the horizon.

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