Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Modern Society: the dangers of holiday shopping - what will happen when they really need it?

Thanks to a long afternoon of self-indulgence through turkey slices, heaps of potatoes, and handfuls of green vegetables, followed by a nice refreshing nap, I was now awake at 3am on the day after Thanksgiving. As I sat behind my laptop perusing the internet for information on politics, guns, and religion, the news stories of the widespread hysteria that some people call "Black Friday" began to pour in. Fights had broken out, one man was nearly trampled to death, and a US Marine was stabbed as he attempted to stop a shoplifter.

Toys, clothes, and gifts for under the tree - not food, water, fuel, or true necessities. Simply stuff - and according to the news, people were willing to kill for it. As the news outlets consolidated stories and sorted out actual events, I found this article at 9 Shocking Examples of Black Friday Violence. Please watch the videos and read the stories. Then I would like for you to sit back and think to yourself "What if those people had been scrambling for food and water? How would they have acted then?" And don't kid yourself by saying that it can't happen, that it won't happen - you just saw it happen.

Then I want you to consider something even more important - what if those same people decided that what you had was worth killing you and your family for? What if you found yourself in a store, trying to get last minute supplies during a disaster, and someone attacked you in order to take what you had? Would you be ready to defend your life, and the lives of your family? And I'm not just talking about willing to do so, but actually able - do you have the skills to survive?

Consider also your own preparedness level. Your food levels, water storage, cash reserve, defense capabilities, fuel storage, and general readiness to handle emergencies. Think about your medical supplies and medical training - can you effectively stop bleeding, restore breathing, treat a large burn, or administer an IV to supply life-saving fluids? Could you employ proper tactics to keep your family safe and to ensure that what you have will not be taken from you?

Go back to the article that I linked above - watch the videos again and read the stories again. Watch very closely how little regard most people have for each other when panic and adrenaline set in. If people act that way over toys, clothes, and stuff that has no true value, imagine how they would act if they were all racing for the last pallet of food, instead of the last pallet of Tickle Me Elmos. Ah yes, the Tickle Me Elmo doll - remember that? This willingness to commit violence and act like a savage in order to secure a gift of nothing for someone else is not a new development, but it does continue to grow worse every year.

So if you want to stay away from the madness of Black Friday, then stay home the day after Thanksgiving. But if you want to stay away from the madness of those very same shopping fiends, and more just like them, when the real trouble starts, then you need to get prepared. Prepare your mind, prepare your body, prepare your family, prepare your home. Help your neighbors and your community and anyone who is willing to help themselves. And don't wait until tomorrow to start - Paracelsus said "For it is we who must pray for our daily bread, and if He grants it to us, it is only through our labour, our skill and preparation."

Stay Aware, Stay Safe, and Train Hard.