Over Protected


Are we? When you sit back and think about it we realize that we no longer have any sense of independence. Or self-reliance if you will. Our ancestors sure did. They’d go out each day with two goals: Don’t get killed and eat enough to get to tomorrow. In today’s society however, it seems that we have so little we need, yet so much we still want. Would we know how to get what we needed if we wanted it?

I was reading through a book a friend of mine recommended called “The SAS Survival Handbook“, brilliantly written by John ‘lofty’ Wiseman. In it he covers every practical survival technique from keeping warm to evading a biological attack. While reading it I realized how unprepared and inadequate our skills are to take care of ourselves. How do you compare someone who knows how to reprogram the logistics software for NASA to someone who knows how to find water in a barren desert?

“Today we truly have so much time and so little to do”

We have built a society so securely entrenched in a “faster, better, easier, cheaper” mind-set that many of us no longer have the ability to withstand unconventional circumstances. How long can you sustain yourself at home without additional food? Do you know which foods to consume first? How much water do you have and how would you distill more? If you’re in colder climates how would you stay warm? Remember, the four most important life-necessities: Water, Food, Clothes and Fire.

But this extends to far more than just physical survival. What about financial survival? A couple a months ago we faced a near collapse of the entire financial system. Most people don’t know what this means. We’re talking no credit cards, no cash-flow, no manufacturing… the whole economy shuts down – Depression-style. Ok, so we somehow avoided it, but the system is still broken and we rely on it – not just daily but constantly. Most people don’t have any cash stashed away for emergencies.

How about emotional survival? Years ago we had greater self-esteem, built up by our parents and coaches who taught us to work hard and persevere even in the face of challenge and adversity. Today, we seem to have eliminated those challenges for our youth. Some children’s baseball teams no longer count points because they don’t want to have one team lose. What in heaven’s name are these kids going to feel when they grow-up, get laid-off from their jobs and “lose” something for the first time in their lives? This is not optimism. This is blind unrealistic and wishful dreaming. It helps today but burns tomorrow.

We won’t even begin with spiritual survival. It’s rigor mortise. People don’t care. Money and Fame are the new gods – the true American Idols. If you chose not to believe in a religious God, that’s fine. But to believe that you are the creator of yourself and your own destiny has detrimental consequences. That type of thinking ends where the titans of ancient Rome, Greece, Babylon, and Nazi Germany are today. Consigned forever to oblivion.

The objective then is to re-think our lives. It’s not all sales commissions and granite counter-tops.

Some people call this abstract thinking, others call it negative thinking. I think it’s a matter of responsibility. We must know that what we have should not be taken all for granted and to realize that one nick in the system can usher in a new reality.

No doubt. We are over-protected.

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2 Responses to “Over Protected”

  1. Gershon Garber Says:

    Very nice and rings true. Today’s youth feel entitled to a nice car, job, designer clothes. As you’ve noted, and I wish no ill will on anyone, but if individuals would lose all income due to layoffs, family problems, or illness (c”v), they would soon come to realize what is important. I have a similar blog entry at http://garber.tzo.com/template_permalink.asp?id=121

  2. What Do YOU Want? « Sentiment of Success Says:

    […] Sentiment of Success Tips on Success, Lifehacking, Entrepreneurship and the random! « Over Protected […]

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