I Don’t Want to Know

I noticed something strange today at the gym.  I was on my favorite treadmill when a woman came in and got on the treadmill on the row in front of me a little to the right.  Normally I don’t pay much attention to those who come and go while I’m working out but this woman did something I didn’t expect.  As she was starting, she took off her jacket and laid it over the display of the treadmill.  I first thought she didn’t know where else to put her jacket then I noticed her peeking under her jacket to adjust the incline and speed.

Then it dawned on me – this woman didn’t want to see her stats showing in bright red numbers on her display.  From what I could tell, she wanted to work out by just the way she felt, not by what the numbers on the display were telling her.

I don’t know if this is a good or bad approach, but I did think it was interesting but also potentially misleading.  I’m one of those who likes to know all the details and to be able to compare my performance with my last workout.  Some days I do better than I anticipated, other days not so much.  Nevertheless, I want to know.  For me, knowledge is power.  Knowing all the details of any specific event is something I crave.  I want to be one of the first to know and have as much time as possible to act on that knowledge.

I haven’t always felt that way.  I’m sure most of us have gone through a stage where ignorance was bliss.  I know as a newly-wed starving college student, there were times I didn’t want to balance my checkbook just because I didn’t want to know how bad it was.  I must admit, there were times when not knowing gave me a small measure of peace until the returned check notices started to appear in the mail.  It was then that I wished I’d been more pro-active and could have avoided the return check charges.

As I started to learn about the importance of preparedness, I became more and more interested in learning about all the potential events that could occur that would require prior preparation to avoid unnecessary suffering by my family.  I would war-game every possible scenario I could think of and try to prepare in a fashion that would mitigate most adverse consequences of said event.

This exercise gave me so much confidence and empowerment that I wanted to convert all my friends and extended family members to the same level of belief and subsequent preparedness.  Boy, was that ever a mistake!  I learned very quickly that most didn’t have the same belief level as I did and many though I had turned into a real fanatic or even a nut job.

Even some of my close friends and family members asked me to stop discussing the potential “doom and gloom” scenarios with them and that they really didn’t believe such things would happen.  I must admit, I felt I was so well prepared that I was almost routing for the disasters to happen so I could put my preps to use.  I didn’t look at the possible traumatic events as something to avoid, but embrace and I enjoyed talking about them.  This really turned off many friends and family members.

As I try and analyze the reason why individuals don’t like to talk about or even hear about such potential events, I get the sense that once again, ignorance is bliss.  It’s seems as if somehow if they ignore it, it’s not real.

I’ve learned over the years that if I want to continue with a good relationship with these friends and family members, I have to simply not discuss preparedness issues.  It really is an awful shame and something these good folks will surely regret but as the saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink”.

So what should we do?  We can’t prepare for everyone and we shouldn’t feel as if we have to.  Each of us has to make the personal decision as to how to handle such a dilemma.  I can’t imagine what it would be like if loved ones who had not prepared came to my door in dire need of food and supplies and I wasn’t able to help.  So for me and my family, we have simply made the decision to never stop preparing.

Every week we continue to add to our preps even if it’s something as simple as a case of Ramen Noodles.  I’ve had the impression many times as I carry another bucket of wheat or case of pinto beans to the basement – I will never personally eat this but that it will someday save someone’s life – and that’s good enough for me.

When the time comes we need to rely on our food storage, none of us will ever say, “Dang it, we’ve just got too much food here!”  We will just be glad we put aside what we did because the moment it’s needed; it’s too late to get it.

More than 35 years experience in the Preparedness Industry