You have probably noticed that Joe and I tend to write about different topics. What interests me the most, I absorb more quickly, have a greater depth of knowledge, and am more passionate to share with others. The same is true for Joe. Our complementary hobbies have given us the opportunities to focus on different things.
Our Separate Interests
If you want to know about pressure canning soup or have a question about why your chicken laid an egg without a shell, I’d be the one more likely to be able to help you. If you want to know the comparative differences between a Ruger LCP .380 and a Kel-tec, you’d better ask Joe. I carry the former, am a competent shot with it, but I had to get it out and look at it to remember what model it was- it’s just “not my thing.”
So, is that okay?
Hmmmm…. for a while maybe.
Ideally, everyone in your group should be cross-trained in all aspects, but in reality, that is hard to do for several reasons.
- Time is running out. Do you feel the same sense of urgency that I do? There is SO MUCH to learn and I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to absorb it all.
- Not everyone will. You may have some people that will be part of your group that are unwilling to do some things (butcher the meat for dinner) or are just not gifted in an area (you don’t want the nervous klutz on guard duty).
- Situations change over time. It’s hard to anticipate right now all the needs you may have later on. It’s a good idea to identify people with varying knowledge and skills now and build a good relationship. You may come to rely on each other heavily in the future. (I wish we had a nurse or doctor really close. I would like to get training, but that goes back to #1).
- You may be the only in your family preparing at all. It can be mighty hard to convince loved ones of their need.
- You don’t know who all may end up with you when the time comes. In theory, we probably all plan to limit who we will take in for reasons of space and resources, but we all probably also know on some level, that we would be hard pressed to turn away someone just because we didn’t anticipate them (for example, are you going to tell your daughter, when she shows up with her roommate, that her friend can just hike back across country to her own family?).
The Bigger Plan
So far, Joe and I have pretty much tried to “divide and conquer” the knowledge and skills that need to be acquired so that at least one of us can do/find/identify etc what needs to be done. But we also know that we need to be teaching each other more as we go (I need to learn how to tie all those knots he is trying to teach you too).
We should also be passing these skills and information on to our children as part of their training. We aren’t talking about diagramming sentences- these are life skills. Every child should be learning how to cook, what to do if they are lost, and how to grow or find food.
- What if Joe needs to make a several day hunting trip? I will still need to know how to operate all our weapons so I can defend the home while he is gone.
- What if I am sick or injured? Joe will need to know how to convert the staples in mylar bags into edible, palatable meals.
- And, we don’t like to think about it, but what if you or your spouse passes away? At least one other person needs to know what each of you knows.
How are you managing the acquisition of knowledge and skills within your own family or group? Are you being systematic about it? This may be a good time to sit down and list your needs and try to get at least one person to commit to first, specialize in it and, second, teach the rest.