Look for goodness, even in bad times

This is a bit of a political post and then some more thoughts on dealing with people who might come asking for help. Here’s a financial interview from this morning:

More bad economic news and predictions here, so lots of people grumble about the high cost of food and gas, but they haven’t made lifestyles changes to try to position themselves better to weather a serious economic crisis.

Yesterday I saw this speech by JP Morgan Chase & Co, CEO Jamie Dimon from June 1st, where he says we’re facing an economic hurricane and we don’t know yet whether it will be a minor one or a superstorm Sandy or Andrew:

I’m here to tell you that even minor hurricanes can cause a lot of destruction and kill people, because by their nature hurricanes bring high winds, flooding and spawn tornados. In economic terms, even high inflation can wipe out many businesses or push families living with very limited means beyond being able to stay afloat.

The political question for Democrats will be whether they continue to cave to the far-left and the global zealots or some start pushing back against the green energy zealots’ war against American fossil fuel. However, at this point, it seems that any internal uprising in the Democratic Party against the far-left will be met with fierce resistance and seems unlikely to succeed.

Dangerous economic storm clouds aren’t in the distance, they’re moving in fast and I suspect President Biden and the green energy zealots aren’t likely to change course to steer America toward safer ground.

Everyone will end up having to face the reality of runaway inflation caused by soaring diesel fuel prices, shortages, and more shipping disruptions. The single best thing anyone can do, besides having extra food and water stored is to get your personal finances in order. Americans are even more financially unprepared for hard times then they are with being prepared with basic supplies for emergencies, so this will affect all of us, even people who did prepare.

I believe in being nice to people and trying to help people, but one thing I learned decades ago with doing volunteer work (trying to help people) is the people who ask for help constantly are predominantly the people who create financial chaos in their lives, don’t think ahead and live life without any goals or concerns for preparing for a rainy day.

My post about helping people the other day is how I feel. I try to help people, when I can.

Yes, I understand that people who aren’t prepared vastly outnumber people who do prepare and that means those who prepare will need to prioritize who they choose to help, how much they help and be aware of their own safety. What bothers me is sitting around wasting time dreaming up scenarios and wasting time and energy thinking about which family members or people you know will be leeches and which ones you’re not going to help. To me that energy and time could be better spent doing more to prepare and do positive things that need doing in my own home and life. I also don’t get angry at people who don’t heed my advice about preparedness. Anger gets me nowhere and it’s not going to motivate them to get busy on being more prepared or to listen to me.

I can find dozens of things that need to be done around my house every single day. I can also find dozens of things I could be working on to become better prepared and especially better organized. Worrying about who I’m going to help and what I’m going to say doesn’t require planning. I learned how to say, “No, I’m sorry I can’t help,” years ago. I’m selective with charities I donate money to. I am selective about handing out money to people collecting money for people they know who are in need. This doesn’t take planning for me – I just think about the situation and decide whether I choose to donate or not. It’s the same with people with sad luck stories – even family. I’ve got limits, just like I think most people do.

I also believe in self defense – enough said. It’s always a good idea to practice situational awareness and nowadays that requires getting your eyes unglued from electronic devices and paying attention to what’s going on around you. Years ago, as the cell phone addiction problem grew I said America could be taken over and millions of people would be totally unaware unless they saw something about it on their cell phones. Watching what’s going on around you is the single most important skill to develop, which can help you assess a situation and avoid danger. Most of this is just common sense everyday life stuff and not specific to emergency preparedness.

A skill I’ve had to work on and it’s taken me a lot more time to learn is how to be a better listener and not rush to judgment about people with problems. I’ve found many times that making small efforts to help people or encourage them often does more than lecturing people or preaching at them about what all I think they should have done or need to do now. Offering to help someone learn to do something or offering a helping hand up requires forming a relationship and trust. I’ve found that If I can find a bit of common ground, where I’m talking to someone, not down to them, it can often create a dramatic change, where we can find ways to work together.

On a brighter note, I’ve had lots of experiences where total strangers extended kindness and did nice things for me. It’s important to see goodness in the world and not focus solely on the doom and gloom – especially in very bad times. Don’t forget how to smile and find joy in life.

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Filed under Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Politics

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