Is the Water Warm Enough, Mr. Frog?

A frog in a pot on a stove
If you raise the temperature slowly enough, the front won't notice.

You know that old story about how you boil a frog? You put him in a pot of cold water and slowly raise the temperature. Supposedly, the frog doesn’t notice it and jump put. Voila, you have cooked frog.

It might be a good time to take a temperature check.

If you ignore all the warning signs, if you prefer not to think about what is going wrong around you, if you prefer to explain things away or say “that’s not so bad”, you will be in boiling water before you know it.

Take the Test

As you take the temperature of your particular pot of water, here are a few things to consider. Ask yourself if these items have gotten better or worse in the past year.

  • How many stores have you gone to that had “cash only” signs taped to the door because their credit card processing is down?
  • How many of your local restaurants that made it through COVID-19 have closed since then?
  • What percentage of fast-food restaurants and other businesses in your area have cut back on their hours because of staffing problems?
  • Have you tried to get a prescription filled, only to be told they were out of stock or had it only partially filled?
  • How many of the shelves at your local stores are empty?
  • How many items you buy are imported?
  • What is the wait time at your local emergency room?
  • How long does it take an ambulance to show up at your door?
  • What is the average response time if you call the police? Will they even respond to something like a burglary or a vehicle accident in which there are no injuries?
  • If you have trash pickup, are they picking it up when scheduled?
  • When you are on the highway, do you see more or fewer 18-wheelers today than a year ago?
  • Do you feel safer today that you did a year ago?
  • Is the economy better today that it was a year ago?
  • Are you better off today than you were a year ago?

If your answer on two-thirds or more is that things are worse off, and the water temperature is rising. It may be time to hop out of the pot.

Local vs. Global

All of those questions are about your personal or local situation. Let’s look at some national or global points:

  • Violent crime is up in much of the country, including 25.8 percent in New York City, yet district attorneys are persecuting fewer criminals.
  • Organized theft is up, too, thanks to soft-on-criminal laws that allow criminals to rob stores with little or no repercussions.
  • Police forces are understaffed thanks to the defund the police movement.
  • Drug use, both legal and illegal, is up and is giving us a society full of homeless addicts who steal to support their habit, end up in emergency rooms costing society millions of dollars, and make no contribution to society.
  • The country is more divide than ever.
  • There is a large-scale ground war in Europe that threatens peace on the continent has created 10 million refugees.
  • We are closer to nuclear war than we have ever been before. Even close than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • The threat of war in the South Pacific is greater than it has been since World War II.
  • There is a global food crisis that is likely to result in a famine in some countries and rising prices in others.
  • There are global shortages of fertilizer.
  • The global world order has been shaken, creating a period of uncertainty and danger.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that the temperature is rising. Slowly, inexorably, we have gotten to the point where is it almost too late to do anything about it.

It is Never Too Late

Until you gasp your last dying breath, it’s never too late. You can still take actions to insulation yourself from the rising water temperature, but you have to act quickly. We’ve covered things you can do to become more independent and self-sufficient, so you are less reliant on outside resources and supplies. All it takes is a commitment to do so.

Where does that commitment come from? It arises when you look around and you see the pot and the steam for the first time and realize your predicament. Commitment is your reaction to the realization that things are getting worse, the future looks grim, and you need to do something to protect yourself and your loved ones.

You will know you are committed when you stop worrying about what the neighbors will think and start parking on the driveway because the garage is full of 5-gallon pails and warehouse-style shelving loaded with preps.

When you spend vacations taking tactical courses instead of relaxing at the beach, you will realize the water temperature seems to have dropped. Once you feel comfortable living in Condition Yellow, you’ll kick yourself for spending so much of your life in Condition White, looking like a victim.

When your dream house isn’t in a better neighborhood but is in a remote rural location, you will have been the lucky frog that escaped.

It’s all possible, but the clock is ticking and it won’t be easy. Then again, nothing worth achieving is easy.