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Stocking Up On Memories

Posted By Contributing Author On February 4, 2013 @ 9:05 pm In Emergency Preparedness | Comments Disabled

This article has been shared for your reading pleasure by TJ Miller, a long-time contributor to our web site often posting under his online moniker of ‘Odd Questioner’. TJ is the author of the comprehensive and must-have guide Beyond Collapse: Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization from Scratch [1]. You can read an excerpt from the book here [2]. You can also follow his regular thoughts and musings at the Beyond Collapse web site [3].


Yesterday, I came across something that, while simple, turns out to be pretty profound [4]; it was enough that I got to thinking beyond that.

You have folks that stock up on almost every conceivable thing – bullets, food of every sort, tools, and whatever the big sites have managed to scare them into either buying, building, or improvising. However, that one little post has brought something to light that few preppers ever bother with in their rush to get out ahead of doomsday: Stocking up on good memories.

Certainly, this is covered in the book, and multiple times – enjoying life is a prime reason that we as humans live (right behind reproduction), and one really does need to enjoy civilization while it is still around – else why the hell would you want to bother trying to rebuild it?

There are too many out there who have their heads down, openly eschewing the world as we know it entirely. Some avoid it because they’re fixated (way too much) on whatever their pet prophesy happens to be. Some can’t because they’re too busy working on top of getting the preparations down. Some aren’t able to because they reason that buying an AR-15 before the government bans them all is more important than taking the kids out on a one-in-a-lifetime trip to Yellowstone.

Once Upon A Future Time…

It’s been 45 years since The Big One. Your little community has managed to come together, and in spite of all the death, destruction, and various other hardships, things have become stable, and look to be growing for your little town. Your little group of survivors have turned what used to be an elementary school into your community buildings, and converted its wide grassy fields into a farm from which most of you garden off your own plots and eat. The playground became the market, which has become quite prosperous in the past 10 years. Everyone is reasonably well-fed and relatively happy, and have made their homes and fortifications among the houses along the periphery of the school property.

As the oldest resident, you wound up being the village elder of sorts. At 66 years old, you are among the last to have lived as an adult during the pre-collapse era. Once a week, you sit by the side of the building after church. Almost all of the kids (and not a few adults) all gather around, listening to your stories of life during “The Magical Times”.  What exactly do you intend to tell them there, Mr Storyteller? If your answer involves talking about prepper websites and books, and how you packed all your stuff in preparation, then man – is your town ever going to be boring! If your answer involves made-up conspiracies and the greatest editions of The Tinfoil Bulletin? That’s even worse, and I wouldn’t blame the kids for blowing you off and going somewhere else to play. Most of the kids would think: “What a miserable effing experience! No wonder the world blew up – they deserved it!

Now what if your stories told of wonderful things – wild-but-accurate descriptions of amusement parks, of driving for hundreds of miles in one day just to see a beautiful valley? What if you could tell them of magical gatherings of people to light a Christmas tree, or to celebrate a new year? What if you could tell them of the time you walked the streets of cities across the ocean, and how you got there in less than a day by flying? What about all the basketball games you and your long-dead friends once attended, and how you and thousands of other people shouted and cheered as one? You could even tell them about the games you would play on a box, and play against people from all around the world. Then there was the time you went on this giant ship and sailed to some cool island…

Memories: More Important Than Most Other Preps

As you might have noticed by this point, there’s more to preps and gearing up for a civilization reboot than just stacking, racking, and packing. There’s more to it all than just getting good at the rifle range.

There is civilization itself. It contains a vast catalog of really awesome stuff to see and do. It not only provides you with enough leisure time to prep, it helps give you time to create, to ponder, and to wonder. It has the means to let you do some really cool stuff. While I harp on it in the book, I want to harp on it here, too. Get your ass out there and have some fun once in awhile. I don’t mean fun like in camping and drilling for preps, I mean fun like take a camping trip to a national park. Go out sport fishing some time. Pick a random town on the other side of the continent (or for those in the middle, pick a side) and go play tourist. If you have the means and the world situation isn’t too far gone, pick some spot on the globe and go visit it.

The idea here is that if you’re going to want to rebuild civilization after it’s gone, you need to explain to future generations why they should even bother. That’s where the good memories come in, no?

One Prep, Multiple Benefits

Taking time to make these memories is pretty important for you too, boyo. It does more than provide a lot of cool stuff to talk about, and even does more than help educate future generations. It allows you time to relax a little. It gives you the very needed chance to talk to other people you don’t know, and to get their insights and viewpoints – that alone will force your mind to stretch a little. It prevents you from your own form of normalcy bias… or rather, your growing abnormalcy bias. It helps give you greater insight of your own.

As someone who does prep, I do gain one benefit that most non-preppers never will: I appreciate the things I see – and do so far more than they can ever hope to. In an age where you can see wonders on your television in retina-stretching HD, seeing them for real has an almost transcendental effect. Knowing that it could be gone within a decade or two means that my mind soaks it in just that much more intensely – I find that my enjoyment of the item, act, and people last long, long after the photos, tchotskies, souvenirs and baubles have broken, faded, or become lost.

I think that if you seriously do prep, you may indeed experience much the same things – you enjoy that which may be gone tomorrow, whereas the typical tourist yawns and wonders when the buffet comes up next.

Your Mission, Should You Decide…

I’d like to close this wee blather with a mission for you: get out there and have some serious fun at least once this year. Plan and take a vacation. Get you and your family out somewhere cool, interesting, and fun. Talk to everyone you meet (just don’t get suckered), and enjoy the hell out of it. Try some new activities, new food, and new stuff. Do something that scares the crap out of you. Don’t forget to buy a cheesy t-shirt of the event.

Most importantly, soak it all up as if it will be the last vacation you will ever get to take. Why? Because you never know – it may well be.

This article has been shared for your reading pleasure by TJ Miller, a long-time contributor to our web site often posting under his online moniker of ‘Odd Questioner’. TJ is the author of the comprehensive and must-have guide Beyond Collapse: Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization from Scratch [1]. You can read an excerpt from the book here [2]. You can also follow his regular thoughts and musings at the Beyond Collapse web site [3].


Article printed from SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You: http://www.shtfplan.com

URL to article: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/stocking-up-on-memories_02042013

URLs in this post:

[1] Beyond Collapse: Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization from Scratch: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1480140805/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1480140805&linkCode=as2&tag=123sofintemar-20

[2] read an excerpt from the book here: https://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/beyond-collapse-surviving-and-rebuilding-civilization-from-scratch-free-download_11242012

[3] Beyond Collapse web site: http://www.survivalcivilization.com

[4] pretty profound: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/rise-of-the-preppers-50-of-the-best-prepper-websites-and-blogs-on-the-internet_02012013#comment-1098844

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