Thursday, May 28, 2009

Are you a Survivor?

Right now I'm reading The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood. The book has instructions on how to go to The Survivors Club website to take a very well put-together test to determine your survivor profile.

I found my style to be that of a "Thinker" (imagine that) with my top three survivor tools being "ingenuity, intelligence, and adaptability." More on this later.

While reading further in the book today, I came across the story of a survivor, Brian Udell, who asa jet pilot was forced to eject from his F-15, travelling over 800 miles per hour, less than 1000 feet over the sea. To summarize his ordeal, he was severly injured, breaking both legs and one arm along with multiple other internal injuries.

Dr. Ken Kamler, who is vice president for education and scientific research for The Explorers Club of New York, and who studies such survivals, was asked about the factors that lead to Brian Udell's survival.

When asked about Udell's ordeal, Dr. Kamler's explained:

"...five out of six people on earth depend on civilization to stay alive. Without eye doctors and corrective lenses, many of us wouldn’t be able to see, let alone earn a living. Without supermarkets, we wouldn’t be able to feed ourselves. Without sewage systems and water treatment facilities, many of us would succumb to cholera and other diseases. “All of us are descendants of survivors,” he says. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here.” But with modern society protecting and sustaining most of us, he continues, “we don’t really know if we have that instinct for survival anymore.” Kamler believes in an interesting duality. On the one hand, we’re “far more fragile than we’d like to admit. If our protection breaks down, we die easily.” On the other hand, he says, he’s witnessed the “the body’s enormous capacity for survival.”

I began to wonder. If modern society has become the major mechanism that contributes to our ability to survive physically, does the evolution of a paternalistic government become our crutch to survive our loss of rights and freedom as well?

In other words, I hypothesize that the creeping growth of big national government, progressivism, political correctnes and a movement toward socialism, weakens us mentally and emotionally in our ability to survive on our own without big government.

Some of my friends and neighbors who are alarmed by this trend also seem to be frustrated by not knowing what to do. I don't know if this is just a coincidence or does it tend to support my hypothesis. This hypothesis, if true, scares me.

I thought back to the test. I'm a "Thinker". I have the tools to figure this out. This blog, the people I read and follow on Twitter and books and blogs that I read are providing me with a lot of new information. I think I've figured out that to reverse the movement toward socialism, the two key activities one can engage in are 1) learning and 2) sharing that learning with others.

Learn what you can about history. Learn what the politicians are doing. Listen to and learn from those you respect when they give you analysis and synthesis of current events. Then act.

Find others with whom you share the same alarm. Band together in informal neighborhood and local groups. Discuss and debate. These efforts will provide you a with a better understanding of what's happening. They will give you "talking points" to share with others and with your elected officials.

If you are good at explaining things in a logical way, become a speaker to groups of people who are in the early stages of this new awareness. Don't merely speak, but provide them at places they can go for self-education.

We cannot with this struggle with ignorant voters. Educate yourself, then share yourself with others.

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