Things NOT to Worry About

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Trains in the switching yard
Freight trains in the switching yard

Rail Strike

Yes, there might be a rail strike as soon as Friday. Yes, that might delay the delivery of new cars, fertilizer, plastics, coal, and even chlorine for water purification pants, but it is nothing to worry about. If there is a strike, Congress will eventually vote to send them back to work. Better yet, the union and the rail companies might reach an 11th-hour agreement.

In any case, I’m not going to worry about rails strikes for two reasons: One, I am very well prepared for short-term disaster, and two, I can’t do anything about it.

September 24

If you follow the prepper media or watch preppers on YouTube, you may have heard about the German politician saying September 24 will be a day everyone will remember. Many perceived it as a threat or a foretelling of some planned attack or collapse.

That has been debunked as a translation error (he apparently said 2020, not 2022), but even if it hadn’t been, I would not worry about that kind of threat. Why not? Because it is nebulous, a vague threat. Because too many dire predictions of the end of the world have come and gone and we’re still here. You can’t do anything to prepare for the unknown, except count on your normal preps. If it looked like that had been a serious threat, I might have made a special point not to fly somewhere or drive far from home on the 24th, but that’s about it.

Blowing Things out of Proportion

Here’s a paragraph from a story on the rails strike that ran in Zero Hedge yesterday:

A rail strike would be “potentially disastrous,” with “dire consequences that will cascade throughout the economy if a strike actually occurs,” Business Roundtable Chief Executive Officer Joshua Bolten told reporters. Supply-chain issues would be “geometrically magnified by the rail strike, and that’s not just the occasional Amazon box showing up two days later than it should — these are critical materials,” such as chlorine to keep water clean that would be delayed, Bolten said.

Look at those out-of-proportion statements squeezed into one paragraph:

  • Potentially disastrous
  • Dire consequences
  • Geometrically magnified
  • Critical materials

The phrases are intended to alarm and scare people. The truth is, if the railroads shut down for a couple of weeks, a few people will be inconvenienced, but it will not be a disaster. They’d have to stay closed for weeks or months before the situation becomes “dire”, and that’s unlikely. When the pain gets too bad, either Congress or the railroads will act.

Don’t allow yourself to get sucked in by doom and gloom reports you see on YouTube or read online. Keep in mind also that the traditional mainstream media also has an agenda and may pump up some news while downplaying or ignoring other news stories. Don’t get dragged up in the wide net they cast. Question everything and take nothing for granted until you have done a bit of research.

Worry and Prepping

I find prepping is a good cure for worrying. Instead of worrying about the food in our freezer thawing because of a lengthy power outage, I have a generator. Instead of worrying about a hurricane, I live far from the coast. Rather than stay up late worrying that we’ll run out of food, I have a prepper pantry and long term storage food.

I started prepping when I had a young family to protect. Having kids gives you more things to worry about. As a parent, you want to protect your children and make sure they always have something to eat and drink. Becoming a prepper was one way I addressed those concerns.

If you are worried about the state of the world, as this article in The Hill suggests, then figure out what is the worst that can happen and prepare for that. The very act of prepping will give you a feeling of control, which will reduce your worry.

Threats and Preps

There are almost always things you can do to protect yourself from the things you worry about. For example, if you are worried about crime, here are some things you can do:

  • Avoid looking like a target. Keep your head on a swivel, be aware of your surroundings, spot potential threats, and don’t stare at your phone in public.
  • Improve the security of your home with multiple layers of defense, potentially including stronger locks, automated lights, video cameras and a large dog
  • Avoid going to high-crime areas
  • Avoid being out late at night
  • Own, train with, and consider carrying a gun
  • Move to a safer area

You don’t have to accept the status quo. You might not be able to stop crime, but you can do things to insulate yourself from it.

It’s the same for many other threats. Identify the threat, think about its repercussions, and act to minimize the impact of those repercussions. Don’t take an antianxiety pill or an antidepressant. Don’t wallow in denial or self-pity. Act. Take control of the situation. Manage it instead of surrendering to it.

You will find your quality of life will improve dramatically once you stop letting things happen to you and start planning and acting in your own best interests. Prepping is one way to do that.

UPDATE

Approximately 10 hours after I posted this, the AP reported that the rail strike has been prevented by a deal after workers won concessions from management. You can see the full article here.

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