So you’ve got a good job, a nice home, and two cars in the garage. There’s food in the fridge, the bills are getting paid, and life is good. Why worry about life? It seems to be in order. Well, I know from experience, it can all fall like a house of cards in a minute. So how does one prepare for the worst?
If life is good for you, the first thing you should do is appreciate it. Nowadays, many people are living paycheck to paycheck. What does that term really mean? It means, if your paycheck just didn’t show up this week, you would be in big trouble. Many people I know are in this boat. Some don’t realize it, and some just don’t think about it, choosing to look on the bright side of things. But some of us (and many readers of OTGN) recognize this could happen to most anyone. I had a friend who had hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank, a good job, and a beautiful home. One day he went to the door and there were federal agents standing in front of him. They informed him he was under investigation for something he had written in an advertising piece. By the time he got back to his computer, his bank account had been frozen and he was left with nothing. He couldn’t even buy a loaf of bread on credit. Within one minute his bank cards were locked down, his credit cards were shut down, and all he had was the change in his pocket.
My point is this: Even the best of us can be penniless in an instant. So we better be prepared. In my life, we have tried very hard to be ready for anything, whether it be a financial fall or a nuclear war. We have a big garden and a small greenhouse. We have canned everything we can think of, from green beans to tomatoes. We bartered with a landowner neighbor to raise sweet corn and share it, and we canned that. Onions and potatoes went into the cellar. Cucumbers were sliced and canned. Even our okra has been prepared. (Heaven forbid I would have to eat okra to survive.)
Sure, I still write for a living, and my wife goes to work every day, but there is a difference. We are preparing for the worst, just in case. We know from history that even saving cash in a jar can be all for nothing if the economy crashes. Our paper money could be worthless in a minute, just like my friend’s bank account.
But there are things that will be worth trading even if the crap hits the fan. Our canned food will be priceless. We could trade for whatever we need with canned food. And our abilities in the service industry will become very important in hard times. The more I know how to do, the more valuable I will be. My father taught me how to fix almost anything and I have taught my children those same skills. From wrenching on a car, to building a shed, each child knows what he or she needs to know to survive. We can barter services for goods with what we know and that, too, is priceless.
Even if you are living large, you should always be preparing. You don’t want to be left out in the cold.