21 September 2011

Prep30: Developing your self-reliant knowledge and thinking

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. – Albert Einstein
We're now two-thirds through our initial series of Prep30 post and presumably you've been steadily working on assembling your food storage and other preparedness supplies. Hopefully, this month has found you thinking more self-reliantly... figuring out how you can be prepared, doing more for yourself, and living in a bit more self-sufficient manner.

The above quote lies at the heart of developing this self-reliant thinking.

Modern mainstream American society fosters too much dependent behavior. Too often, we are immersed in an on-demand world — most learn to expect ready access to food, drink, entertainment, etc. any time, day or night. We have an impulse, and we can readily satisfy it through a quick trip to the store, to a theater, or simply by a phone call to have our "goodies" delivered. The "problem" that need to be solved is that we don't often know how to do without, or to provide for our needs on our own.

As Einstein points out, we need to have a different kind of thinking to solve the problem. We may be suddenly jolted to awareness of the problem by a disaster, power outage, or some other traumatic experience; however developing that new thinking usually takes some time. We must nurture and feed it to enable the new way of thinking to grow.

Reading blogs like this one is a good start. You may also want to consider participating in the #PrepperTalk chat that occurs regularly on Twitter (watch this video for a full explanation). Started by @SurvivorJane, this nightly discussion is a great way to learn and ask questions about preparedness and self-reliance. I've also posted a Learning About Preparedness series of posts that discuss low- and no-cost ways to learn about these kinds of topics too.

Books are a helpful way to learn about preparedness and self-reliance too. Nonfiction books are great, especially when they give you clear and direct guidance on what you need to know and do. I've reviewed some excellent nonfiction books on this blog:
There are tons of further books to choose from, and I'll be presenting my favorites for the prepper's bookshelf, and discussing why I've selected them, in an upcoming post.

Finally, it's important to not ignore fiction in developing your self-reliant thinking. There are any number of books that involve people living through catastrophes that transform civilization, forcing them to fend for themselves. These books cross a variety of genres, but they can help get you thinking about "what if" — even if the disaster you face might not be nearly as devastating. I've listed a few novels below to get you started:

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