I have, on The Takedown, posted various articles about preparedness and being prepared. As a reminder, when I speak on this subject I am not speaking about bunkers, doomsday, tons of ammo and years of food, or being ready for TEOTWAWKI. (The End Of The World As We Know It) I’m referring to being prepared for those emergencies and disasters, both manmade and natural, that you are likely to encounter in the area in which you live. Realistic preparedness, as I have heard the term used, many times and in many forums.
The Boot of Truth is, however, that there is a part of this that few discuss, or even look at; the idea of ethics and morality in a situation in which you have, and others do not. You’ll find a wide range of variation in responses to this idea: some call it OPSEC (OPerational Security – the idea of not broadcasting what you have), some call it “Screw you, it’s me and mine first!”, some even advocate the idea of being the “Gray Man” and not letting anyone, even friends or family, know that you are prepared because if you do, you’ll be the first one they come to. I admit freely that I had given it only cursory thought, myself. That changed, today, though, when I ran across an interview between Bob Crane (of Hogan’s Heroes fame, who also had been a disc jockey) and Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone. The interview dealt with episode #68, titled The Shelter and the reactions to the episode itself. In a nutshell, a warning is announced that a nuclear attack may be imminent. A doctor takes his family into their bomb shelter, only having enough supplies for himself and his family, while the neighbors are left with nothing, having not prepared. The episode deals with the breakdown of humanity and civility that ensues but, as Sterling mentions in the interview, it brings up a very real point as well. What would we do? What would we be willing to do to survive? What are the moral/ethical issues with that decision? He brings it back to himself and in doing so, brings that question to each of us as well. What do you do if you are safe and secure in your shelter, and your neighbor, your friend, your sister/brother/mother is at the shelter door, begging to be let in? What if it’s a child, sobbing and alone?
Here’s a link to the interview: Rod Serling talks to Bob Crane
Now, let me be clear – this is a question that each person who engages in preparedness has to answer for themselves. No one else can, or should, try to answer it for them. For myself, I do not know what I would do, as I have never been in that situation. I know what I believe I would do, but I cannot say, absolutely. I do believe, however, that it is imperative that each person who engages in preparedness to any degree address this question to themselves and their family, if they have one, and do so before you are in a crisis situation. Also, ensure that when you do ask this question of yourself, make it a question grounded in reality, and not in an abstract. It’s easier to answer “Could I turn someone away?” than it is, perhaps, to answer, “Could I turn my best friend/a child/my mother away?” Make it real, and personal, to you. Leaving things in the abstract is why we obsess and fret over the deaths in a school shooting such as the one in Newtown, Connecticut, (which are, statistically, a blip on the radar) yet say and think little to nothing of the over 1000 shot (400+ killed, 400+ of those were black) thus far in this year, alone, in Chicago.
One is an abstract, to us, while we make the other personal. Think about it for a moment.
Then, whatever you decide, be prepared, and be ready for the fact that someday, you may need to act on that decision – or not act, according to who you are.
God bless, my friends.