Five generations of Prepping Lessons from
One Family’s Experience of SHTF over 120 years.
By Harriet, Editor-At-Large Australia
We are Survivors!
Back on December 20, 2012 when people were having some angst about the end of the Mayan calendar, Bev posted this quote:
“WE HAVE ALREADY LIVED THROUGH
■ Financial Collapse
■ Domestic Terrorism
■ International Terrorism
■ Extraordinary Unemployment
■ Double Digit Inflation
■ More Wars than I can count on both hands
And we have survived.”
In fact, if you do the calculations and consider 25 years to be a generation, then going back 500 years means that 500,000 people had to get together in order to create each one of us. If you think of the wars, disease, financial problems and general societal violence and change that is incredible. Half a million people had to survive for us to be here in these uncertain times.
As I reviewed what it was like during the restructuring of New Zealand’s economy during the economic crash starting in 1984, and thought of the coming world financial problems, I came to think of what our family went through over an extended period of time. Most prepping sites on the internet are focused on accumulating food and guns (so-called beans, bullets and band aids), preparing for a total breakdown of society, and I was thinking that this was so different from what we have experienced. So looking back over our family’s joint memories, I’ll share some of the BIG problems we have faced during various SHTF scenarios.
Stories of Survival: The impact of social and structural inequities.
No 1: John & Beatrice
Great grandfather John (my mother’s grandfather) had a business that went bust in the 1890s during a time of depression in the UK. It wasn’t helped by the fact he spent a lot of time involved with politics and not minding his own business. He fled the social condemnation of bankruptcy by leaving the country for a new life across the world in New Zealand. John, and his wife Jessie, left their two children with his mother until they got themselves settled. Unfortunately Jessie died of a hemorrhage on the trip out, and the family speculated it was the result of a botched abortion. John arrived alone in the new land to start again sending home money to his mother to cover the costs of the two children while he lived on very little. His mother used the money to pay off his debtors to get them off her back. In John’s absence, the condemnation of his bankruptcy had landed on her instead. John remarried a second cousin, Beatrice.
Step great grandmother Beatrice had been raped as a young woman and had a daughter. There were a cluster of SHTF components going on here. Rape wasn’t recognized or acknowledged, abortion wasn’t an option and it was understood in their strict church community that she was a disgusting young fallen woman and was treated with contempt and judgment. Life as she knew it was over. After a number of years she, too, left her community to start up a new life on the other side of the world pretending to be a widow out to do the best for her daughter. Beatrice and John became respectably married, but the trauma of the rape meant that they never had a marriage in the usual sense of the word. John got a housekeeper and cook. Beatrice became respectable and could take her place in society.
TEOTWAWKI doesn’t have to mean the end of the world, full stop. It is the end as we know it only. Life still goes on. Our family has a history of starting again when life throws one of its curve balls. We don’t hang around feeling aggrieved by the S that HTF, well not forever anyway. We tend to move on. All societies have social inequities and injustices occurring. Some are worse at different times and places, but quite frankly, when one gets hit by a really big ball of S comparators really don’t matter. One just wants to tidy life up and get going again.
Their lesson for us: Pick yourself up, dust yourself down, make the decision to take charge of your life and move on. Beans, bullets and band aids would have been irrelevant in this instance – context is everything. Cash is the only thing that would have made a difference and allowed different outcomes. John could have avoided bankruptcy. Jessie may not have died. Beatrice could have become a “widow” respectably away from her own community without having to go to the other side of the world. However, if your context is one of gangs and crime and huge government ripoffs your preparations and ways of coping with similar problems might well be very different from John and Beatrice. So think context for you.
To be continued… Stories of Survival: Part 2—Ted, They Changed the Rules on Him.
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