I read an article this morning; one of those articles that make you think, you know? Now granted, anyone who knows me well knows that I tend to be a bit of a conspiracy theorist, so take my thoughts here with that tidbit of info in mind.
So this article, titled Civil Unrest is Coming to America, really grabbed my attention.
Personally, I’m concerned about the future of America, and apparently this author is too.
I see the middle class shrinking, and people getting more and more heated about several issues, including politics, their personal financial situations, what they view as injustices in the world and also the threat of terroristic violence.
On Twitter, the debates are hot, both sides ranting back and forth about what they see as “the problem”. The debates are often startlingly “in your face” honest.
As people get more and more heated in their demand for change in this country, is the risk of widespread civil unrest increasing? We’re already seeing pockets of civil unrest here and there.
My biggest concern in this area comes when I think about what my own reaction would be if I felt the safety of myself and my family were threatened. Let me illustrate with a little story.
Now, I grew up in a tough neighborhood where you learned early on to stand up for yourself. If you didn’t, you stood the chance of being “taken down” by whatever neighborhood bully was ticked off on any given day.
My one and only fight in school came when one of the tough girls (who happened to be younger and smaller than me) decided that we would meet at the local playground one Saturday to fight. No reason, just a chance to show who was the tougher girl, I suppose.
As a rail-thin, very shy girl, I was terrified of the impending date. Sick to my stomach with fear, I hardly ate for the three days between her challenge and fight day.
You see, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I chose not to show up for the fight, I would then gain the reputation for being a chicken and more challenges would certainly come my way. If I did show up, I risked the very real danger of getting my rail-thin tail handed to me.
I didn’t tell a soul about the challenge and the impending fight, but the other girl did. So when my oh-so-sweet little brother and I (I had begged him to come with me) showed up at the playground, there was a large group waiting to watch the show. I couldn’t tell you the exact number, but in my (likely exaggerated from fear) mind, there had to have been at least 50 kids there.
I took my place in the middle and so did the challenger. We boxed back and forth for what seemed like about five minutes, and then she dropped to the ground and grabbed the bottom of my left leg in an attempt to flip me onto my back. But what was weird is that I could hardly feel her attempts. Finally, I just shook her off of my leg like you’d shake off a humping dog and the girl flew backwards to the ground with a startled look on her face.
I’m not sure what happened. Was there Divine intervention? Did all of those years of me and my brother beating the crap out of each other really teach me something? I couldn’t tell ya.
But what I do know is that this girl went around the whole school telling everyone how tough I was and that they’d better steer clear of me or else. This was hilariously funny to a super shy, 90-pound girl like me but I certainly wasn’t about to risk giving away the secret that I was truly a 90-pound weakling.
And I never had a fight again.
But then things changed. A few years later, I ended up in an abusive relationship where I put up with nearly four years of somebody beating on me. After I broke free of that relationship, something changed in me. I learned to protect myself at all costs from a threat. If you messed with me, you were going down, and going down hard. I looked for reasons to stand up for myself so that I could pay back people for messing with me.
I became a born-again Christian many years later (circa 1995) and over the years as I draw closer and closer to Christ, my heart softens and I learn to find the balance between defending myself and turning the other cheek.
I’m a completely different person than I was 30 years ago, and I work to envelop people with love instead of looking to beat their tails into the ground.
But I can tell you that, still to this day, if I felt my family and I were being threatened with harm or with the removal of our basic needs, I would indeed do “whatever it takes” to protect us.
And I’m certain that many others would do the same.
And as I read the news and watch as government debt increases and as people continue to experience financial hardship, and I watch as debates over perceived injustices rage on and political banter turns to all-out brawls, and I wonder how long we as a country can go on this way. The anger on both sides seems to be increasing. Even with our presidential race battling on, both sides are getting angry to a level that I’ve personally never seen in my nearly 50 years on earth.
So what can you do to protect yourself should things get worse in America or elsewhere?
Pay off Debt
I know this seems like it has nothing to do with protecting yourself from civil unrest, but the truth of the matter is that the less financial worries you have, the less stressed you’ll be if the crap hits the fan and the more options you’ll have for getting yourself and your family out of harm’s way and into a safe place.
I’ve got a series on how to get out of debt that will help you get started.
Stockpile Food and Necessities
Any buffer you have that will help you to avoid having to depend on the grocery store, the government or others is a step that will help you avoid having to be in the midst of a civil unrest scenario. Check out this post on the benefits of long-term preparedness and how they helped one neighborhood sail through a group of job layoffs.
Practice Smart Safety Measures
In our family, this means a number of things, including but not limited to:
- We learn to be aware of our surroundings and have a plan of escape in the back of our heads at all times
- We practice safety at home by keeping doors and windows locked
- We keep in good physical shape so that it’s easier to escape or to fight should we be confronted with a situation
- Just as we have fire escape plans, we have plans in place for a SHTF scenario, whether that scenario be on our personal property or in a public place
By setting yourself up for safety you can be more prepared should a situation arise.
Panic gets you nowhere fast. Instead, keep educated on the events of the day and do what you can to prepare yourself and/or your family to be protected in the event of a civil unrest type of a situation. The more prepared you are, the less in danger you will be if things go awry in your town.
Do you think things are getting worse in America? Is civil unrest truly a risk?
*Image credit: Flickr