Being pessimistic about the future and preparing for an emergency seem to go hand-in-hand. And this makes perfect sense because emergency preparation is—by design—an exercise of looking for what could go wrong so that we can mitigate it.
The problem with looking for what could go wrong is that it is so easy to find what we are looking for and react to it:
- Could I lose my job? It’s possible; I should build a financial and skills reserve in case that happens.
- Could an earthquake hit my town? Yes, and it is only a matter of time; I should look at structural reinforcements.
- Could terrorists strike here? They are already here and I read on the internet that they have nerve gas; I need gas masks in every room!
When when we go looking for problems, the world can get very dark very fast. So fast, that we miss one of the great truths of our world: It is a place of abundance.
And the great secret of successfully providing for the future is recognizing that it has never been easier to do. We have more food, money, peace, and security than at any time in the history of the world. But we need to be careful, because just as there is an astonishing abundance of good things, there is also an abundance of fear and selfishness. And the things we store now are the same things we will have to draw on later:
- Food: If we accumulate canned beans, we have canned beans, not caviar.
- Drink: If we store water, we have water, not fruit juice.
- Clothes: If we put aside summer clothes, we have summer clothes, not coats and gloves.
- Attitude: If we stockpile selfishness and scarcity, we have selfishness and scarcity, not community and abundance.
As we put away our provisions for the difficult times that come into every life and every household, it is vital that we gather not just the incredible surpluses we enjoy of food, clothing, medicine, technology, and learning, but also our kindness, cheerfulness, and abundance.
Will times of scarcity come? Yes, and that is why it is so vital to remember that abundance in a time of scarcity cannot come from scarcity in a time of abundance.