Saturday, December 6, 2008

sobering thoughts for a grasshopper like me

Because of recent and very specific counsel from my stake and ward leaders I have been pondering (and fine, I'll say it, having fears about) the future. "If ye are prepared we shall not fear." I know. But the truth is I'm not prepared. We're trying. We've been trying. But we're not prepared.

As I've watched our economy tank and been shocked and saddened by how we seemed to take everyone else's financial markets down with us, I can't help but worry about the future. As I witness the number of layoffs skyrocket (in my work I see evidence of bankruptcy and drastic budget cutbacks by companies across the nation on a daily basis) I feel on edge--because I realize it doesn't take very long for people to become desperate and I know what desperate people are sometimes become capable of.

Six months ago if I would have read this or this (shared via Google Reader by the very intelligent and thoughtful Geo of On Bright Street), I wouldn't even have considered the possibilities. But given recent events and recent statements by my very own church leaders, now I can't help but consider the possibilities.

And they are sobering.

I'm interested in your thoughts.


wendy said...

I can't hear you. la la la la la.

Seriously? I don't know. We certainly aren't prepared for anything like that. I hope he's way off. I'd rather not freak out about it.


I have often thought of Pres. Hinckley's reference to Pharaoh's dreams in a past conference talk. I thought it was in the late 90's, but it was 2001. November. Interestingly, 7 years ago. It was such a brief mentioning of the dream, but it hit me strongly as something to pay attention to. I have always believed he chose to refer to those dreams for specific reasons and timing was one of them. I know church leaders are telling us, besides "be prepared," to not get caught up in doom and gloom kinds of ideas.

It's hard for me to imagine it getting as bad as the article suggests. Really hard.

My brain isn't putting any ideas together, so I have to stop here. I'm hoping more will jump in on this discussion. Thanks for posting it, Dalene!

Geo said...

Actually I hadn't yet read that second link, the full text of the scary stuff Sharon quoted in her piece. It all begins to sound very frightening and foreign—yet that wasn't at all what I was focusing on when I shared my find via Google. What I most appreciated about Sharon's blog post were the ideas that "Dammit, I'm the Mom and people are going to get fed" and, "the world is full of our own." I have been trying recently to comprehend the parameters of my own influence, and the understanding that's been coming back to me for some time is that I've got a quite a lot of power—that we all do. Am I well-prepared for social upheaval? Not yet. Heck, I don't even have a 72-hour kit at this point, which seems like smaller potatoes all the time by comparison. My pantry is in need of stocking. I don't have winter boots. We don't have any alternative fuel sources, chickens, compost, or much else that seems like the obligatory Luddite security. But I can start again on Monday—buy stashables as my budget (what budget?) will allow. I can collect the seeds from my chives plant. I can make an inventory of some of our clothing needs and cold weather gear. I can start perfecting my bean soup recipes. I can think about abundance and about sharing and about teaching, never mind that I'm no expert. I can meditate on how to encourage others. I can consider opening my mind and my home a little wider. Gone for me are the days when I can be easy only thinking of my own little family's survival in the big bad world.

I'd better check myself here—this could get to be insanely long as I talk to myself. Here's the bottom line for me, right now: I refuse to be frightened. I would rather try to make some lifestyle changes right now than be paralyzed by fear. Yes, there are waves of worry, but I can ride them out until they find their way back to the sea. I choose to make a study of the actions I can take to secure my family and my communities, small and large.

I hear nothing but encouragement and rationality from our beloved and inspired leaders concerning preparation. I do get the strong sense that we will all have the opportunity to learn and endure much, and while that's sobering, it's also exciting.

I want to work together with others to see that we all get there. You know? There.

Geo said...

P.S. I've also got a quote stuck in my head that I heard President Monson repeat:


I keep thinking how important it is, first of all, to be making good memories now, and second, to find a way to remember them. That seems like a really vital part of any storage plan at this point in our world.

Geo said...

(Sorry about the glaring apostrophe glitch—I cut and paste that and didn't spell-check. I just petted my own peeve!)

dalene said...

I probably shouldn't have posted the link to his full text--it was simply meant to be thought provoking, but it is extreme and it ended up detracting from Sharon's fabulous mother bear approach to concerns of the future.

But I have to admit, given the mob mentality I'd just read about on Black Friday and the fact that the layoff numbers are staggering and it's the dead of winter here and you can't grow a dang thing (and a host of other worries that have hit me personally of late) it was kind of easy to let my mind wander.

So I'm not considering the extreme possibilities, but I do suspect things are going to get a bit tough and at the moment I'm not feeling tough enough to deal with it. I'm not feeling prepared.

Here, this is lovely and a perfect thought for this time of year.

dalene said...

That link didn't work. I'm posting it in a new post.

wendy said...

"I refuse to be frightened." Geo, I like that. That's how I feel.

And Dalene, your new link reminded me of some women in our ward who bring their visiting teachees something towards emergency preparedness every month. Even if it's just a box of bandaids. I love that idea.

So I guess I got sidetracked by the doom and gloom, too. I did like the mother bear attitude.

It seems to me that it does me NO good to get caught up in doom and gloom predictions like that fellow made--acknowledge them perhaps, but not jump on the bandwagon. And it does me very much good to prepare and to live in the moment and be grateful. I don't even think about getting prepared to the extreme, but doing the basics that the leaders have counseled us to do.

dalene said...

Wendy, what a great idea for visiting teaching. It's such a simple thing, but those are the things you don't order from the church warehouse, you know?

I guess my point in sharing the links was more that six months ago I wouldn't even have given something like that a second thought. But when you stop and think about all that's changed since then I am amazed at how quickly things can turn upside down. I know my perspective and feelings have changed and I'm not so sure I like how they've evolved. I don't want to be frightened either, and it's not in my nature. But sometimes I find myself feeling that way anyway. It kind of caught me by surprise to realize that about myself.

wendy said...

It makes sense, what you wrote about being surprised by feeling frightened sometimes. I can picture times getting pretty tough, but it's hard for me to imagine the riots he described.

Shoot, I have more to say, but my brain is not working agin. More later.