Sunday, December 2, 2012

Survival: A simple truth!

            Since the dawn of man and before, each species has within their DNA a will and ability to survive in their world. Whether by instinct or by education each organism that inhabits this planet must possess certain abilities to find the sustenance necessary for survival. Each one also needs the ability to survive the onslaught of predators that will use them as their sustenance. Being higher on the food chain does not ensure survival. Early mankind had to learn certain skills in order to gather the necessary food to survive. As we evolved as a species we used our brains more and our physical strengths less.

Note: My reference to evolved does not preclude the existence of God. I believe in God and believe he created us all. I also believe he created the processes that shaped this planet ecologically, geographically, and even politically.  Nothing in my previous statement goes against my belief in God. If you are offended by the statement, I am sorry for that but I will continue along my theme anyway.

            Each species has been forced from time to time to deal with a changing world. Scientist tell that 98% of all the species that ever existed are now extinct. (For those who believe otherwise, I would suggest that most of those were extinct before the invention of the internal combustion engine.) Mass extinctions were caused by drastic and often sudden changes in the environment. Periodic extinctions were (and still are) caused by a species inability to adapt to changing conditions over time.

            The coyote, raccoon and possum flourish in a world where humans have changed their habitat to a large extent. They manage to survive by adapting to the new way of finding food. They take advantage of the human art of disposing of perfectly good food. The wolf, the bear and others have not fared as well. Partially because humans have systematically dispensed with them when they got too close but also because they have a harder time adapting to the new world they find themselves confronted with.

            Whether you believe that Mankind began his/her ascent to civilization the day they discovered how to build a fire or you believe that Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden and left to fend for themselves you must agree that neither would have survived without the ability to find and gather nutrition from the bountiful earth.

            Survival is not a skill, it is a mindset. That mindset involves the possessing or willingness to possess the necessary skills to survive. If the world changes to fast, we will find some, if not many, who will simply decide that it is not worth it. Should we decide to look at it coldly, we might think that it is good for the rest of us. It will be very hard for those who are left alive to feed, house and cloth 6.6 billion people around the globe. The more people that die quickly, the better for the rest of us.

            I think most of us have a desire to survive, but do we have the will to survive? For those that do, they must start thinking about what will be required to make that happen in a world which has quickly changed or even one that changes drastically over a relatively long period. Early in the history of Mankind, we developed basic survival skills. Whether by divine intervention or through trial and error, humans learned to perpetuate the species.

            Since that day our ancestors figured out that living in caves and cooking their food made life easier we have been on a quest to make our lives easier. At least here in America we have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. While you may complain about the high cost of milk or bread it is relatively cheap compared to other parts of the world. It is also cheap if we look at how many hours we had to work to afford that loaf of bread and/or that jug of milk.

            While we were making out lives easier and extending our life expectancy we were also building a technology trap that will be difficult to escape. Just in our generation we have lost many of the abilities that my Grandparents had. Many quip about being “blasted back to the stone age”. We don’t have to start that far back. If we go back 100 years to life on the prairies of this country we will find all the necessary skills we would need to live forever and even rebuild the infrastructure we have today.

            If either of my grandfathers miraculously returned today, they would not be able to survive in this world with the skillset that they possessed any more than I could survive in their world with my current skillset. The point that I am trying to make: Things have changed more in the last 100 years than in any period of the same length throughout history. They have changed very quickly and left most of us without the basic skills to survive in a world without the technology of today at our fingertips.

            If you want to survive the coming hardships, there are books you need to read. The books I am talking about are not those written by fellow survivalist or doomdayers. The first books you need to read are history books spanning from the dawn of man to the end of WWII. In those books are the innovations and inventions that changed the world. In those books are the stories of people of resolve and endurance. Those are the books that will lead us into the future by a secure knowledge of where we came from and what we had to do to get here.

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