Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ignoring reality doesn't make it go away

I have a dear friend whose mother died of skin cancer. Skin cancer, as you undoubtedly know, is one of the most curable cancers there is... if it’s caught early. Otherwise it’s nearly always fatal.

But this wonderful woman, who always had a smile for everyone and radiated sweetness wherever she went, ignored the nagging discolored and painful mole on her thigh. She had a huge – and I mean huge – family history of cancer, and so was naturally scared about developing it herself. What’s tragic is that she ended up acquiring the single most treatable and curable cancer there is.

But she ignored it, told herself it would go away, then (after about a year) determined she would treat it through alternative and unproven means. After a horrible and painful struggle, she finally passed away.

This is a classic case of ignoring something in the hopes it would go away. And here’s the thing:

It never works.

That cavity you’ve ignored won’t go away. Skin cancer won’t go away. The potential for natural or man-made disasters won’t go away. Since none of these things will go away, we need to be vigilant and prepared to handle them in calm, sensible ways.

Had my friend’s mother seen a dermatologist the moment she noticed the discolored mole on her thigh, she could have undergone a minor procedure to remove it, stayed vigilant about any additional moles, and lived for many more years bestowing her sweet smiles on her friends. Instead she lost her life decades earlier than she should have.

It was Ayn Rand who said, “You can ignore reality, but you can’t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” Think about it.

Those of us who have become Preppers in the last five years – and believe me, there are millions more now than there were five years go – are doing so because we recognize potential problems on the horizon, and we know ignoring them won’t make them go away. These potential problems can range from economic collapse to a massive solar flare taking down the power grid. Others worry about peak oil or terrorist attacks. Preppers come from all walks of life and embrace enormous numbers of concerns, but we all have one thing in common: we are not ignoring these problems in hopes they’ll go away. Instead we are trying to recognize what the potential ramifications might be, and prepare accordingly.

Ignoring – which remember, shares the same root as ignorance – a problem never makes it go away (duh). The problem persists and/or gets worse, whether we ignore it or not. It’s up to us as responsible individuals to do what we can to make sure our selves and our family will be as safe as possible when the problem comes to a head.

There are a number of factors that contribute to our certainty that something catastrophic is heading our way. The excessive personal debt many individuals labor under; the endless economic recession which may well have already tipped into an economic depression; the poor job market; the inflation affecting the value of our fiat currency; the socialistic big-brother direction our nation seems determined to follow; and most of all, the staggering, unpayable, hideous debt load of our federal and state governments… all contribute to a feeling that our economy isn’t far from a crash. The moral breakdown of society insures that any problems will be magnified by chaos and anarchy.

And that doesn’t even begin to address the chaos affecting other parts of the world that could involve us as well. A collapse of the Euro would not only affect our own financial markets; but if war were to break out in Europe following such a collapse, you can be sure we would be impacted somehow. And let’s not forget the seething hatred the Middle East holds for America.

But so many Americans prefer to sink themselves into the trivial and ignore the serious. We obsess about American Idol and think that because the Hollywood stars look sleek and sexy, all must be right with the world. We dimly note that the price of milk has doubled in the last few years but don’t think about the overall picture. After all, if we ignore such things, maybe the problems will go away.

And then something horrific happens – 9/11 or a stock market crash or a war – and we wonder where that came from and why didn’t we see it coming?

The fact is, very little happens that doesn’t give some sort of advanced warning (with the possible exception of certain natural disasters such as earthquakes). All it takes is vigilance and a determination not to depend wholly on the mainstream media (which tends to filter world and national events to support their agenda) for our news.

Becoming a Prepper means becoming more vigilant about world and national events, and projecting how those events might have a personal impact on our lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting we get bogged down with calamity to the point where we can’t function. Rather, I’m suggesting that Preppers can live with much more calmness and peace because they’ve prepared to the best of their ability to withstand chaos and disasters.

Ignorance never solved anything. Ignorance never caused problems to disappear. The only thing ignorance produces is surprise when a calamity hits – rapidly followed by dismay at how it affects us.

But action is the answer. If tracking the financial insecurity in Europe disturbs you, the solution is to take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard your own financial situation. If the potential for urban unrest in your city disturbs you, take steps to lessen your vulnerability. If your region is subject to hurricanes or other regular natural disasters, having the supplies on hand to withstand such disturbances will go a long way toward your piece of mind.

Ignorance can be described as sticking your head in the sand, ostrich-like. But you know what happens when your head is in the sand: your rump is in the air, exposed and vulnerable and waiting to be kicked.

Only when your head is where it should be and your vision is clear and focused do you have the possibility of kicking back at whatever fate brings your way.


  1. I have been reading your blog for sometime now, but haven't posted a comment cause I am really low key and low pro-file. But today, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your input and insightfulness, I tend to agree with you on more and more topics, and this is one. Thank you for the beautiful pictures of sunsets, animals and hoar frost on your farm...

  2. Ayn Ramds quote is my Signature line. There is another one i like quite well. "Life is tough, it is tougher when your stupid"- John Wayne

  3. All so, so true and so very well put.

  4. I am fortunate to have a friend who brought to my attention all that was going on in the world. Oh, I knew, but it never occurred to me to begin putting things back. For years I have shopped the sales, stocking up when prices were low, but never with a goal in mind. I have a long way to go, that is for sure. But with a major winter storm coming in the Midwest, I was prepared! I can't tell you how many friends were running to town for food and such. Me? My DH was going to town anyway, so I had him pick up a couple gallons of milk. Sure, I could have used my powdered milk supply, but it wasn't necessary. It is a great feeling.

    I love your common sense approach to things! Your blog is the first I read every morning!

  5. This could be a WND article for you!
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. I get it and I agree. Nut don't overlook the second point that treating serious illness with so-called alternative medicine can be very dangerous.

  7. One only has to look at the City of Detroit to see what is awaiting several cities and states(!) in the near future. Detroit, then Chicago, then California.

  8. SO interesting, the way we come around to think about certain things. Many people don't want to hear what is going on, any possible threats to their way of life, because it is frightening. Much easier to ignore reality, but when soomething bad DOES happen, even being laid off, people are unprepared.

    The prepper mentality runs the gamut from obsessed to sensible, from recluses living in the woods to regular moms and dads just looking out for their families. After being preppers for years, we simply decided to change the way we live entirely. I stared all my websites to encourage people, no matter where they live, to grow something. Anything.

    There is freedom in a seed.

    Here is the article I wrote about our transition (this was also published on the Mother Earth News website.)

    As always, love your site.


  9. This is a keeper ! My wife and I read your blog every day, and every so often will agree that a particular post is worthwhile to print out, save, and place in a binder for future reference and for " refreshing our awareness " from time to time. This is one of them !

  10. People do NOT ignore changes to your skin, moles, etc. We lost our mother to skin cancer last June after a four year battle. She had a bump on her abdomen that got bigger, then started weeping/oozing. When she finally had it checked it was stage 3 cancer. Neither my brother nor myself had any idea she had anything like this going on until she needed major surgery. Our mother was a very healthy woman who was the caregiver, never the one needing care. This is a deadly cancer. Take care of yourself.