The weather reports from around the country have been talking about the massive arctic weather stream that hit the middle of the continental US and then proceeded to make its way eastwards. According to the reports I have seen, probably 70% or higher of the nation has experienced record-breaking temperatures.
Where I am was not an exception, and while I am not sure if the record was matched or was broken last night, I am quite sure it was one or the other.
What made the experience more interesting was that my heater decided to completely give out, even though it was working quite fine before. In addition, the pipes were not left open, so they froze and are eagerly waiting to get them unfrozen so we can work them again.
Now make no mistake, I am not writing these things to complain. To the contrary, I am rather comfortable, except just needing to wear a heavier blanket, some extra clothing, and to move a little slower as we wait for our replacement parts to come it that I ordered.
The most annoying thing that happened was that I misplaced my hat, so I had to go out and buy a new one. I had to go to the store and I got an inexpensive but warm hat, and it kept me warm throughout the night, all day, and will for the future winter weather.
I am writing these things to share an experience in the virtue of being ready for the unexpected. I am not talking about the now-pase trend of being a “prepper”, but rather simple awareness that requires few to no major expenses, a small amount of foresight, an average amount of health, and the care to take them.
Many years ago, I was in a similar situation but was not ready at all. However, I learned quickly from it, mostly in-the-moment, and with that and the help from some generous friends, was able to put together something that works.
I did not expect to be in the situation that I was, as I had tested my heater (as noted before) and it was working quite well even during the initial arrival of the cold. However, the fact that it stopped working has not stopped me from functioning as a person, and neither is it threatening my health or safety. The reason for this is because I was ready for it and, while not expecting it, had the few extra provisions on hand to make sure I was going to be fine.
It is not all about having blankets, duct tape, tin foil (it works very well at reflecting or containing heat in a surface and in particular for cracks or on windows), but also about having some chocolate, marshmallows, coffee or tea, and some candy or for some people, a pack of cigarettes.
Human beings are built to survive very difficult conditions, and this is testified to by the diversity of peoples throughout the world. Certainly some people are more acclimatized to certain areas, and this is largely due to upbringing, for a man who has spent most of his life in Minnesota might find the hot and humid summers of Mississippi to be unbearable just as a man from the bayous might say the same about Minnesota. However, this does not mean that they “evolved” different or are a different “species” of man, but just accustomed to different things. Indeed, one will find European people living normal lives in Namibia and Zambia just as one will find Central Africans living in Russia or Japan.
People can adapt to their environments and the challenges which they face. What is the greatest cause of death for people many times when faced with unfamiliar, unexpected, or significantly different and challenging scenarios is the shock of making the transition to the new environment, even if that change is only temporary in nature.
Cold, heat, storms, crazy people, war, and other bad things can certainly kill people. But what will kill a man quicker and also render him helpless so that he cannot fend for himself is if he goes into a state of shock because then he cannot respond. It is similar to the HIV virus, for the virus itself has never killed anybody, but functions by rendering the body’s natural defense systems moot and as a result, those who reach the point of AIDS (the advanced state of the body caused by the HIV virus), the deadly diseases that are naturally all around us but the human body fends off with the immune system are able to invade and quickly kill somebody. This is why diseases such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma are found almost exclusively in very young people (such as small babies with other illnesses), very old people (such as those in hospice care), and persons with HIV, because their bodies have no way of fighting it off as their immune functions are non-existent.
In the case of an “emergency” or “abnormal” situation, the greatest obstacle to success in the human mind, which is as and many times is more resilient than the body, but it can also destroy the body if it is not cared for. Stress in such situations on the mind is natural, but if one cannot control and direct his stress, then it will cause him to cease functioning intellectually which then affects his body.
For a long time, I have warned about a day of judgement, if one will call it, that will come to the US Economy because she has never recovered from the crash of 2008. When the next major economic downturn happens, it is going to put a lot of people out of work. There are many Americans right now who are severely indebted, who barely can pay their bills, many who rely on credit to pay fixed expenses, and many on other forms of fixed incomes. When the next crash happens, a lot of people are going to be very hurt, and it will likely be significantly worse than it was in 2008.
I have been warning all of our readers, first-time, intermittent, or regular -to get ready in the form of working as hard as possible, saving up money, paying off debts, and preparing for that day, for while many will say that it was unexpected, the fact was that the evidence for it was all around those who cared to look even just a little bit at the basic state of the economy and her natural movements.
That my heater broke down the way that it did was a surprise for me. I did not expect it. However, I was ready for it and have been able to do well for myself until I can get it fixed. It is a little colder in the morning, the food isn’t as warm as it would normally be, my cat is spending more time in my lap or on my shoulder, but it has not significantly caused me to cease functioning.
The economic situation will come in a similar fashion as the weather situation did, but this time with finances. One does not have to be “rich”, but just ready and prepared to see through the inevitable contractions that will take place in the labor market. The psychological shock will likely cause more harm than the economic shock, and this will then worsen the economic situation. That is, except for those who are prepared, for even if one has no money, being prepared in the mind will help the body to see through what happens, and it is not something that comes from without, but which grows from within.
As always, prepare now so one is not caught unprepared later.