I bumped into him at our local library while tending to my work on the blog. He seemed like a respectful sort of gentleman and just slightly older than my own father.
Quietly, he slipped into the only other seat at my table and opened up his laptop. And then, he just sat there, staring at his device. Glancing over, I saw a blank screen. Knowing how the older generation struggles with technology, I asked if could give him a hand with anything?
But he just shook his head; the computer was just updating itself.
And while it did, the two of us struck up a conversation. It didn’t take me long to put the pieces together. He was “one of those people.”
A preparedness person.
Growing up in the rural north-western States, I’ve always known about preppers. As a child, they always scared me, particularly those who mixed religion into their theories. Not only that, but they were depressing to be around, always dwelling on disaster and conspiracy theories.
I can’t say that I enjoyed being around these people. Nor would I ever have allowed myself to be talked into joining their forces. They were just too…extreme.
Today, I realize I was exposed to the extreme as a kid. And I don’t want to lump all preppers into the same category. Because they aren’t all cut from the same cloth. In fact, I do have “preparedness” friends I enjoy and respect.
These folks take a more balanced perspective on it all. They lead a traditional lifestyle because they love it. They’re keen on buying land and living on it, are frugal minded and believe in living debt-free. In their world, like-minded friends and neighbors are the best insurance. And they’re down-to-earth people I can relate to…without those childhood feelings of fear!
But honestly? Until that visit in the library, I hadn’t thought about preppers for a long time. The elderly gentleman made me stop and think: does the lifestyle I lead aline with the lifestyle of a less-extreme prepper?
Evaluating My Life
The thought startled me, because as I said, I’d never considered myself to be a prepper. In what ways did I fit the mold?
I made my list:
- Heirloom gardening
- Seed saving
- Canning, dehydrating, fermenting and root cellaring
- A desire to eat home-raised food year ’round
It all lines up neatly.
- Home remedies and natural medicine
- Making our hygienic items
- Raising and butchering our own meat
- Hunting, fishing and foraging
Those are all things “preparedness” folks practice.
- Building a network of like-minded individuals
- Pooling resources with these people so we can make purchases (honeybees, a meat grinder, etc)
Seems crazy, but it’s true. These all fit.
- Buying land
- Keen on getting out of debt
- Leading a traditional lifestyle
It can’t be true!
As I thought about it, I realized I do fit. This lifestyle I lead does match the lifestyle of a balanced prepper, the type I respect.
Had I become a preparedness person?
Was it possible? After a while of mulling over this thought, I realized something important.
I may lead a similar lifestyle, but my motivation is different.
A Different Motivation
For my man and I, it’s about better living now, in our day-to-day life. It’s about getting to lead a lifestyle we enjoy. For both of us, it’s about pulling out of the rat race and getting in touch with life around us. It’s important that we have time to slow down and invest into our relationship with God, one another and our fellow human beings.
It’s about working with our hands. About exposing ourselves to nature and understanding where our food comes from. It’s about putting nutritious meals on the table 3x a day. Being surrounded by God’s creation. And (hopefully) about raising children where they will learn to work and care for the life about them.
It’s not about being prepared. It’s about better living.
The Obvious Conclusion
As I thought about it, I realized I couldn’t hide from my reality. I couldn’t deny it. I couldn’t ignore it. Fact is, I could fit under the prepper label. But my motivation? It’s different. And that makes all the difference.