Monday, March 5, 2018

Why Preppers Have a Hard Time Building Community


I received a good, thought-provoking comment from a reader earlier today. It really got me to thinking about building community. Rather than a quick  reply in the comments section, I felt it worthy of deeper consideration.

Here is the reader's comment:

The most difficult aspect to me continues to be building community. I was electronically connected to local prepper groups for four years, and attended meetings over a year, mostly sitting off in a corner, before I felt comfortable enough to have a one-on-one coffee session with anyone. We've discussed "community" many times, but I just don't see a "safe" way to bring in neighbors pre-disaster. I need a good plan to bring in folks almost immediately post-disaster initiation to hopefully avoid the community going bad.

Here are my thoughts:

Finding and building community is something that most preppers/survivalists agree is a good idea, but find it very difficult to do in reality. I certainly struggle with this issue, and I've heard from lots of others who struggle with it, too. Why is finding or building community so hard?

A large part of the reason it that we are looking at the issue in the wrong way, or at least in an incomplete way. We seem to focus on the external - Who should be in the group, who should be excluded, where to find group members, when/how to talk to them about preparedness, how can they be integrated into a group...

We largely ignore the other half of the equation, the internal. We ignore ourselves, and our own attitudes and problems. It is these internal issues that may be blocking our efforts to find/build community. It comes down to our inability or unwillingness to trust others.

Let's face it: many of us are very independent-minded (I want to do things my way and only my way), cling to our own individuality, "compromise" is seen as a dirty word, and delegation of duties and responsibilities is difficult (what if they don't do it "my way'). 

Most of us are not very trusting by nature, which is part of why we are preppers in the first place. After all, if we really were trusting, we would trust the government and other authorities to take care of us in an emergency. In fact, we are suspicious of others by our very nature.

A successful community requires we trust each other, but most of us are not wired to be trusting of others. Therefore, we end up looking for "perfect" group members, folks we can absolutely trust and feel extremely safe bringing into the community. Yet there are no perfect people, so we are doomed to look continuously without success.   
Perfect is the Enemy of Good

Understand that I am not advocating blindly trusting everyone and anyone. We do need to consider the character, trustworthiness, and compatibility of folks we let into our lives and community. But, if we are to be successful, at some point we have to be willing to say "This person isn't perfect, but they are good enough."  Hopefully, they will be willing to say the same about you. After all, you are not perfect either.    
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You might like these other articles I've written on the topic of community:




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