“If things really fall apart as you say, and I don’t think they will, I’ll just live off the land. You know hunt and gather. Who knows, it’ll probably even be fun. You know, getting back to the way things once were. It’ll certainly be better than my 9 to 5 job.”
It’s in Our Genes
America was founded by visionaries willing to take a chance. From the earliest pilgrams that crossed the Atlantic Ocean to settle a new and mysterious land to the settlers and cowboys that headed west into a harsh and untamed land to make a new life, Americans have historically had a great resolve and an indomitable spirit.
Maybe there’s something in our genes that was passed down from generations past?
Many would argue that the same spirit may be found in many of us today. We still have entrepreneurs willing to form business upstarts and take risks in order to receive a potential reward. Many small business owners work into the wee hours of the morning building their clientele, refining their business plans, and taking care of the small odds and ends that nobody notices but that are required to succeed.
But is that the same go-get-’em attitude required to survive the end of the world as we know it? Can we pull ourselves up by the boot straps and make a go of it, facing the challenges of the new reality in much the same way our ancestors did as they boarded the vessel to cross the Atlantic?
The Grand Ole Days
The grand ole days were not quite as grand as we tend to think. Maybe it’s a result of Hollywood movies where the good guys seldom die. Maybe it’s a result of a sanitized school curriculum that glosses over the ugliness of death and destruction in our nation’s history. We remember the plump turkeys and beautiful pumpkins of Thanksgiving rather than the harsh and deadly winters when food was scarce.
Whatever the reason, many have a highly romanticized view of the past. But that’s not necessarily an accurate view.
If you recall from history class, the bitterly cold and unforgiving winter of 1609-1610 at the early settlement of Jamestown claimed the lives of most of the men, women and children. Only 60 of the 214 colonist survived; the rest perished in a slow and unpleasant death. They were sweet sisters and loving mothers, cute baby boys and rugged fathers. By spring, every survivor had lost at least one person in their family or someone who was dear to them.
The Jamestown settlers were people who were used to tough times. Sure, they had some misguided ideas about what would be needed and how they could survive in the New World, but generally speaking they were accustomed to a more basic and primitive lifestyle. Yet only one in three survived. That’s an ugly scene to be sure.
Are we better prepared? Are we at least as tough?
Some may argue that we have the same American spirit as days gone by, that with a little prodding and put in the right scenario, we can be every bit as remarkable and skilled at survival as Daniel Boone or Davy Crockett. The spirit has changed a bit, they claim, but it’s still there and will carry us through dark and trying times.
Maybe, but I’m not so sure.
Today, our society has drifted from our origins. We may have far better supplies available to us than our predecessors but that’s no guarantee for survival. Compared to those who have gone before us, we as a society, are largely ill equipped in three required areas for survival: supplies, knowledge, and toughness (I’ll write more on these in another post).
If we are steadily moving toward the event horizon of a national or global TEOTWAWKI event, it will indeed be dire. Will history repeat itself and one in three Americans perish in their unpreparedness? Or can we fair better than our long departed relatives at Jamestown?
What do you think?