I have my own moral code that is based on what I think is important, and I follow that more than any rule, law, or policy. For those State employees that have taken the mandatory “Respectful Workplace” course, I consider this my Creed.
One way or another, I believe that everyone has to have a set of standards they live by. I think that is particularly important for preppers, because we believe that a large scale collapse that may remove formal social controls that keep bad people in check through fear of punishment. The fictional zombie apocalypse scenario comes to mind. When all bets are off the only thing that separates the good from the bad is how people treat one another. In that case prepper precepts become important.
I take pride that anyone that wants to know how I will react to a situation (speaking of moral situations not tactical) can normally guess my answer if they understand my basic precepts:
- I am a Christian, so I do not have to live in fear of the unknown. Life may be hard and may end badly, but my future is assured.
- I don’t want the manure to strike the air oscillation device. I don’t want to be proven right. I want my food storage to hit its shelf life unopened. But I feel better knowing I have food insurance.
- I do not live in fear, as an acquaintance used to say “They can kill me, but they cannot eat me, and if they do, I hope they get diarrhea.” I prep for hard times because I know historically it can happen, and statistically will happen again.
- I take reasonable precautions based upon my own risk assessments. And then I get on with my life. As situations change, I may spend some time tweaking plans as I watch current events. But life happens, things break, I fix it, and move on.
- Bad things happen. I cannot control what happens, but I can control how I deal with events.
- I don’t deal in conspiracies, men do evil things on occasion, and groups of evil men do bad things, but the shear amount of people that would have to be quiet to pull off a “shadow” government is impossible for a bureaucrat to manage. These guys cannot figure out how to pay their taxes or keep from getting their affairs out of the papers. I work in a bureaucracy, and I know exactly how ineffective they can be at keeping secrets. Every time someone sends an email out FEMA Red lists or prison camps it only hurts our community.
- I am the only person in responsible for me. No one else is responsible for my actions, safety, or future. If I want to be well fed it is my duty to go outside, find food, kill it, and drag it home.
- I avoid ethical spirals, its better to admit you’re wrong up front and apologize rather than hide it and play the “big lie”. I’d rather take a small lump up front than a huge hit later for hiding my mistakes.
- I don’t know everything, and I cannot do everything. Our world is complex and integrated. To be prepared is to have a network of people who can fill in the gaps – not only physical but also spiritual. Having trusted friends multiplies your joys and divides you pain.
- Violence sometimes IS the answer. If someone is raping your wife, asking him to please stop is not as effective as a .45 caliber bullet traveling at his face at 1041 feet per second. If you are unwilling or unable to fight for your beliefs and your liberty, you don’t have “rights” you have polite requests.
- Violence is not ALWAYS the answer. I won’t kill over “stuff” a TV is not worth a human life. However, if a person tries to steal property that impacts on my life safety – food, weapons, etc – then I am justified in using force to protect what protects me.
- Skills beat stuff. I love gadgets and new toys as well as anyone, but stuff can be stolen, lost, or broken. What you carry in your mind and heart are things that cannot be lost.
- Be flexible. Things can be used outside of their intended usage. Things change. You should be able to think outside the box once you understand the reasons for the box.
- Be rigid. There are absolutes. No matter how ugly life gets, what separates the human from the animal is our ability to distinguish right from wrong. Sometimes, the right thing is the one thing you don’t want to do, but not wanting to do what is hard is not justification for being evil.
- Be balanced in your life. You cannot be a superman 24-7-365. You have to take time to make connections with your family, to rest, to play. Sprinting is healthy in short durations, but prepping is a lifestyle not a race.
- Be balanced in your plan. All food no gun, makes you vulnerable to those with all gun and no food. It’s better to have a lower level of prep that is more versatile and covers water, food, shelter, defense, communications, and medical, than a extremely high level of preparedness that covers only one or two areas.
- Charity is important, but charity is not enabling others to be lazy or rewarding bad behaviors. If you work hard, someone that refuses to work has no moral demand on your labor. However, I would have a hard time swallowing a meal if I refused to help a hungry child, widow, or a disabled person. God gave us free will; he also was clear about the consequences for bad behavior. In my house you contribute, or you don’t eat.
- My plans are generic as much as possible. I prep and plan for all hazards, and not specific events. How many people bought into the Y2K, and then let their food rot because they felt silly. My food storage is for when I cannot buy groceries, it does not matter to me that it might be because I lost my job, or I am under quarantine for bird flu. When I need it, all that matters is I have it, not why I need it.
- Store what you can use, and use what you store. I don’t buy books I won’t read, clothes I won’t wear, food I won’t eat, or Hip Hop music. I also don’t buy things I don’t know how to use.
- Have backups. Things break. They normally break when you really need them and the store is closed. The more redundant the system the better insulated you are.
- Cheap is cheap for a reason. I cannot always afford to buy the best, but neither can I afford to keep replacing the cheapest junk every time it breaks. There is a difference in a 40 and a 400 dollar grain mill.
- Common sense cannot be legislated. Laws are made in a vacuum by people that don’t always fully understand the problems. Rather than looking to laws to see if I CAN do something, my right to liberty says I can do whatever I want unless a law specifically prohibits it. And depending on the situation, I’d rather be in jail than dead.
- Gold is nice, but it’s used to buy stuff in the event money is worthless. With that in mind, its much cheaper to just buy the stuff now. A wheat grinder is $40 now, but how much do you think it will cost if everybody actually needs them to eat?
- It’s better to be home, rather than be a refugee in a shelter, but if you have to leave, you might not have time to pack a bag – have a Plan A and a couple backup plans.
- You have to practice your plan, thinking is not the same as talking, and talking is not the same as doing.
- Don’t waste. Be frugal, learn to make do, or you may have to do without.
- Think, Learn, Plan, Test, repeat…
These prepper precepts are personal to me. They explain and form the core of who I am. They incorporate my Religious, Moral, and Sociological beliefs, They are a product of my raising and my experiences. They work for me, but my prepper precepts may not work for you.