Finding Power In Fear; or How I Learned To Start Gardening And Love The Bomb

TheDoor-DavidYGoodmanRight now, the future is a scary thing, unless you:

  1. Have a lot of faith
  2. Are blessed with irrational confidence
  3. Are stupid

#1 is not a bad thing. Perhaps your faith is in your family or your friends. Perhaps it’s a belief in a God that is working behind the scenes as part of a bigger plan. If you have a bit of #3 in you, your faith might even be in the government. I would venture to say, however, that most of us don’t have strong enough faith to live in the complete absence of fear. Even the most devout people I know sometimes struggle with fear. And the most trusting endure seasons of doubt. It happens.

As for #2, irrational confidence isn’t necessarily a bad attribute. Who are the heroes we look up to? Hint: they aren’t the people wringing their hands in a dim corner of the room. No – they’re people that build billion dollar businesses in their garage, stand up to tyranny, fight their way out from behind enemy lines, or who face being burned at the stake with a psalm on their lips.

Pro-tip: Women swoon over men that are insanely confident.

Everyone is impressed by guys that let worry roll off them like water off a duck’s back. They do amazing things because they beat down fear. However, confidence can be its own trap. Look at the housing bust. I met some people with million-dollar portfolios who thought everything was going to continue going straight up… right at the point everything was about to freefall.

#3 is self-explanatory. Most people are sheep. Slaves that need leading. Talking automatons with media-created answers for every argument… or worse, just a shrug and a “whatever.” These folks are going to be dangerous when things finally go down. They’re the mob, and we’ve seen what happens when they don’t get their bread and circuses. (Or when the banks steal their stuff while a central government shackles democracy.)

If you don’t fit into one of those three groups, we’re on the same page. You’re here at The Prepper Project because you don’t trust the future… because you fear things aren’t going to get better… because you’re anxious about the safety of your family and your friends.

I know how you feel. This is why I garden the way I do.

When the average citizen first comes to the realization that things aren’t quite right in their country, it often starts as a vague unease in the back of his mind, then blossoms into worry and sometimes a full-on panic. We’ve met these people. They max out their credit cards on freeze-dried bagels and strawberry paste, iodine tablets, gas masks and disinfectant.

I don’t blame them. After 9/11 and the anthrax madness, I researched buying a gas mask. I also stockpiled cheese dip in giant cans. I didn’t want to die without cheese dip.

Of course, as you start to back up, get older and think things through, you realize that all of life is a risk and we all die in the end. I’m a Christian and don’t really fear death… but I don’t want to face it too fast, either. I also worry about my wife and children a lot more than I worry about myself.

The problem is, there are scenarios I can’t really protect them from completely. Nuclear war… a shifting of the earth’s poles… a horrible plague… a massive tsunami… home invaders, etc. I can do my best. I live in the country, in a low population area. I’m alright on the self-defense side of things, etc. But… there’s always something. If you live on those “somethings,” they will eat your soul.

Don’t let yourself be paralyzed. Instead, when you come across a potential threat, think it through. Is it something you can prepare for?

For instance, consider a plague of giant rabid cybernetic possums. How would you face that? I can think of a few off the top of my head.

  1. Don’t leave trash outside. You might attract them.
  2. If you think you’ve killed one, make really danged sure it’s dead.
  3. Don’t smile. It makes you look weak. Giant rabid cybernetic possums can sense weakness.
  4. Breed giant cybernetic boa constrictors. (This may create its own problems)
  5. Sit inside and cry because they look so much like nasty rats and you hate rats.

Guard the trashcans!

Any scenario seems more manageable if you have time to think and prepare for it. Yet still, there are some things you can’t prepare for: you have to accept that. You also have to accept that you’re not an island and true self-sufficiency is basically unattainable. No one can be totally safe at all times.

If you live in a hurricane-prone area, having tarps, extra water, a barbecue grill, some flashlights, etc. is prudent. If you live in the city, it’s good to have an escape plan and a place in the country you can reach, whether it’s your own or a friend’s. If you realize you don’t have a certain skill set – like being able to handle a firearm or grow a garden – learn those skills. If you’re overweight, lose the weight. That’s a good idea in ALL scenarios.

Because I feared the future, I honed my gardening ability into an expert skill set. I now no longer worry about feeding my family. Because the economy looked like it was going to get ugly, I bought tangible goods and paid off all my debt.

Look – you can do these things, one step at a time. Don’t stare motionless into the headlights or you’re going to get splattered. Keep moving. Don’t shrug off your worry and assume you’ll have time later. Let fear become something that pushes you onwards. It’s not something that controls you; it’s just another motivator.

That reminds me: I need to get on eBay and buy a motion tracker like they had in Aliens. Just in case.

About David The Good

David The Good is a naturalist, author and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a Dixie cup of soil and caught the gardening bug. Soon after, his dad built an 8’ by 8’ plot for him and David hasn’t stopped growing since. David is the author of four books, writes a regular column for The Ag Mag in North Central Florida, is a Mother Earth News blogger and has also written for outlets including Backwoods Home, Survival Blog and Self-Reliance Magazine. You can find his books on Amazon here. David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker and an unrepentant economics junkie who now lives somewhere near the equator on a productive cocoa farm. Visit his daily gardening and survival blog here: The Survival Gardener And for lots more gardening info, click here and subscribe to his often hilarious YouTube channel.

View all posts by David The Good

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