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Sunday, May 31, 2015

During the life of a wise man



There's an old Chinese proverb that goes something like this: In course of a long life a man should be prepared to abandon all his worldly possessions at least twice.

That proverb came about during one of the more unsettled periods of Chinese History. A wise man would have to abandon all his material things to stay ahead of invading armies. Too much stuff just slows you down. The point is that fortunes can be rebuilt. You can't come back from the dead.

A prepper stores away the things needed to get though hard times. That's a marvelous thing. In day to day life having a deep pantry is only prudent. It doesn't take an end of civilization event either. Having the option to get dinner out of the pantry rather than driving into town during a blizzard is a good thing.

Us preppers are fond of our stuff. We've acquired the basics of survival over a period of time. Our preps many have changed and evolved to adapt to perceived threats. However, we can't let our things, no matter how wonderful they are, become our ball and chain.

If a forest fire is bearing down on your homestead, hunkering down with all your stuff is not a good idea. If you have to, leave it all to burn. Better it than you. Don't wait for the flood to wash your house away or for the hurricane to blow it to bits. Sometimes you have to hit the ground running and never look back.

Perhaps worse than natural disasters are the man made disasters. All the preps in the world would not have done much good if you were a Jew in Nazi Germany. Hunkering down and waiting it out did not prove to be a very viable strategy. Leaving the country was the only good option. Those who left early were better off than those who left later.

That got me thinking. There are certain procedures to leaving a country about to enter a period of turmoil. The early ones leave through normal channels. They take their passport, hop on a train, plane or boat, and off they go. In the early days they may even get to take a long a goodly amount of portable wealth. Later, there are more travel restrictions. It might be possible to leave, but the government severely limits how much money you can take with you. That's a hardship, but at least you leave though normal transportation.

Wait too long and normal travel procedures are blocked. Instead of traveling first class with tea and biscuits, you paid gold and jewels to a fisherman for the pleasure of hiding deep in the hold with his fish. At the first sign of trouble he might gaff you and toss you overboard to the sharks.

Most Americans are not prepared to suddenly up and go to another country. The majority of Americans don't have something as simple as a passport. I'm as bad as everyone else. Canada is a half hour drive away from me and I lack the paperwork to legally cross the border. It used to be easy. All you needed was a driver's license and a birth certificate. During the pre 911 days it was common to not show papers at all. Those days are over.

I put off getting a passport for a number of reasons. I hate paperwork. It cost money. I had an excuse not to go to funerals and weddings in Canada. That was pretty lazy of me. Monday my lovely wife and I are dropping off our paperwork to get a passport. No, I'm not expecting any sort of political disaster. (then again, it's the ones you don't expect that get you) Having a passport is only prudent. After traveling around the United States all these years, I'd like to branch to other countries. Besides, I am overdue to visit my relatives in Canada. The fact that it's wise to be able to quickly get out of Dodge is a bonus.

-Sixbears

10 comments:

  1. Canada is about the ONLY country worth going to in a political situation, as most are worse shape than us. Plus, even Canada struggles with the same kind of insanity that we have here.

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    Replies
    1. Politics change quickly. There are two Canadas, English speaking and French speaking. They almost split for real in the 90s.

      For me Canada has the advantage of being within walking distance and I've family there.

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  2. I think I will stay here in the USA. I am too old to run.

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    Replies
    1. It's all you guys who'll stick around that'll cause all the trouble. Good for you!

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  3. Me thinks your using Canada as an excuse .You want a Passport in hand in case you get blown off course while sailing and wind up in the Bahamas or Cuba .

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  4. I don't want to get a passport. Wouldn't do me any good as long as I'm the caretaker for my Mom.

    I do like my pantry, though!

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    Replies
    1. Everyone's situation is different.

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    2. Yes, we are all rowing different boats. But would not the wisest man get the passport and take some time to travel to a few different cultures to share and get more wisdom.

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    3. . . . and have some fun. Never forget the fun.

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