Debunking the Pessimistic Prepper Stereotype
The news cycle has been very dark lately. Stories suggesting a million species will die off due to climate change are pretty depressing. If we consider the various other threats to our livelihoods, it might be tough to get out of bed in the morning! That said, I’m sick of people assuming all preppers are pessimistic. Prepping is a rational activity. Preparing for a SHTF event is equivalent to investing in an insurance plan. We know that not all people who purchase insurance are pessimists. In fact, most people who purchase insurance hope to never have to use it! Why, then, is prepping viewed as a necessarily pessimistic activity? It certainly doesn’t have to be. Let’s discuss three ways we can remain optimistic while prepping for potential SHTF events.
1. Don’t Forgo or Put Off Life Milestones Out of Fear
I recently watched First Reformed, a film about an aging pastor in upstate New York named Reverend Ernst Toller. A pregnant parishioner requests Reverend Toller speak with her depressed husband. The man Reverend Toller meets with is a radical environmentalist who is worried about raising a child in a world filled with threats like climate change. I won’t spoil the film for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it, but I will touch upon the environmentalist’s expressed fears. He’s not alone in worrying about the future. Many people worry, but our worries should motivate us to take action! We cannot become paralyzed by our fears.
We should not forgo the life events previous generations enjoyed. Instead, we should work towards building the future we want to live in. Encouraging society to move towards sustainable solutions to climate change, like regenerative agriculture, may better ensure a more prosperous society. We cannot expect others to implement change for us. Their inaction causes us to become pessimistic. Self-reliance and self-imposed action are key to developing a more optimistic outlook.
2. Take Comfort in the Fact that You’re Prepared for the Worst
Building a better future is important, but it’s also critical to be prepared for life’s curve balls. As stated above, preparation is insurance against the possibility of SHTF events. Developing an escape plan and packing a bug out bag are two preemptive steps we can take to prepare for disaster. You should feel assured that you’re ready for what the world throws at you. Prior preparation can reduce anxiety, as you’ve thought through potential threats and how to address each. Prepping, therefore, can enable you to go about your life expecting the best, but ready to face the worst head-on.
3. Spend No More Money on Prepping than You Would Spend on Insurance
You should never spend too much on prepping. Period. Don’t go into debt prepping and don’t feel it necessary to purchase “luxury” prepper gear. Prepping is insurance and should be purchased as such. By forgetting the importance of frugality when prepping, you may be causing yourself more anxiety. This was an important piece of advice Bernie Carr of Apartment Prepper shared with me. Those who invest too much in prepping practically want a SHTF event to hit. If for no other reason, at least a SHTF event will justify their prepping purchases. Don’t overspend. Rational preparedness avoids developing a pessimistic attitude.
Life Goes On and So Should You
The truth is, we have very little control of our lives. We need to contend with randomness, bad decisions made by our government leaders, and a host of other contributors to our futures. In a world as dynamic as the one we live in, we shouldn’t get consumed by the darkening news cycle. Let’s control what we can by prepping rationally, but also accept that some things are left up to fate. The earlier we accept this, the earlier we can live optimistic lives.
Do you have thoughts about how to prep without a pessimistic attitude? Leave a comment below or contact me directly.