Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

The Title is often spoken by those that make a decision based in perceived desperation. A person at the end of their rope, so to say, will be tempted to use faulty logic in an attempt to justify their actions. Unless you've lives in a 3rd world country under abusive conditions, you cannot imagine the deplorable environment humanity can survive in. A person living in the USA has a much different outlook on what deplorable signifies to them.

When the title statement is uttered, and the person isn't danger of losing life or limb, I have a very indifferent attitude towards their logic. There are times when it's both logical and decisive, but for the most part it's overused. The "Desperate Measures" you speak of will more than likely be based in revenge than in defense of yourself or loved ones. Let's be cognizant of our situation prior to utilizing a non beneficial tactic or plan. The results of such actions may be less than optimal.

We must also be aware that in the instance where you put someone into a situation of pure desperation, they may act out in an illogical or suicidal manner. When a person perceives that they have nothing to live for, they are a prime candidate for a mental breakdown or violent outburst. We are, after all, only human. When a person or organization decides to destroy someone's life or livelihood, you should be aware that those actions can have far reaching consequences beyond the intent of the protagonist. We call that "the rule of unintended consequences".

Considering the depths at which the human condition is capable of sliding to, add in a little mob rule into the equation and things can go off the rails fairly quickly. There is no greater threat to logic than an angry mob. Anonymity within that nameless pool of humanity allows normally pliant individuals to reveal deeply veiled hate and violence to flow without repercussions. Their idea of desperate measures is rather vague and has more to do with the will of the mob than the actual affront. Ferguson should be a shining example of those actions.

When we look at current events, we see people making choices based on a receding standard of desperate. What we, as informed citizens, don't want to do, is to push people into desperate action. That goes for the government, taxpayers, racial divisions, religions or even your neighbors. Instead of firing the lazy guy at work, let him know that he needs to find another job. Tell him you have enough evidence to fire him, but felt it would be in the best interest of everyone involved if he or she just left on their own. Today's faceless corporate mindset leads to acts of desperation for those of our society that have never dealt with adversity.

The sliding scale of desperation slips sharply as generations continue to relish in the false narrative that everyone is special. Participation trophy generations will soon be a large portion of the work force. When that happens I can see a significant slide of our moral obligations and seeing the corporate world continue to decline the talent level to the point that the more able and motivated will become the minority. Sometimes tough love is necessary. A little desperation can be motivating, but if the person doesn't have the fortitude to endure, they may turn to illogical actions.

In a defensive situation, you never want to encounter a person with nothing to lose. They act erratically and will not respond logically. The best situation is to allow that person an exit from your vicinity. My rule is never to get close enough to a perpetrator to allow them to touch me. You can also use your situational awareness to keep desperate people away from you. This can be as simple as not going places where people go when they are depressed or down on their luck. Casinos, Bars, Liquor stores, Payday advance, Title loan co's and red light district areas are all prone to have people with nothing to lose utilizing their services. Steer clear. You are tempting fate by frequenting businesses in those areas. Even a justified shooting can lead to arrest, loss of your firearm and permit, loss of time from work and much more. A threat avoided if far superior to a threat overcome. YOU have something, everything really, to lose in that situation. Don't allow a person with nothing to lose to put you in their situation by not using your head.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Organization Is Part Of Your "A" Game

Time not utilized for the betterment of your situation is time wasted. I'm not saying you must lose sleep and not take time off, as those two items directly influence your abilities and mental health.
 What I'm discussing is how much time you spend chasing down missing or misplaced items, buying new items when you know that you've already purchased it, but can't find it. These situations have a negative impact on you and your family. This also goes for grocery trips, meal planning, your job, your future and most importantly, the legacy you instill in your children.

I'll be honest, my storage sections in my home are a wreck. I generally only keep a few things flawlessly organized. Those are my critical items that directly control my life. My toolboxes, safe, ammo storage, reloading gear, and my computer files are kept immaculate. I know where and how everything is in those places. If I need an item, I know exactly where it should be. If it's something I *might* need, all bets are off. It may take me hours of digging in the spare room to find a spare charging cord, computer cable or spare notepad.

My work truck is pretty much always dirty, I might have some trash in the back seat and there is pretty much always a few cardboard boxes and a roll of wire in the bed, but if you open up the tool box, you will see a perfectly organized tetris style stack of power tool boxes and trays full of ancillary parts. Everything has a place, and it all fits perfectly without extra room for it to bang back and forth in the box. It's all fitted so that nothing can move. When I'm working, I don't have time to waste digging through a pile to find what I need. The profitability of the job depends on my organizational skills. I find that people that don't deal with the same constraints deal with the issue differently. A friend of mine keeps his truck immaculate. It's neat as a pin inside and he never allows trash in the truck. He washes it constantly, the appearance being as important as the functionality. At times I will help him out and his shiny stainless steel mirrored finish tool box looks like a Home Depot threw up in it. He knows it's in there, but where is anyone's guess. The tools are like strata that must be dug up in order to find the buried treasure. The going joke between us is that when I die, he gets my truck tool box.

Another item that requires scrutiny above most is your larder and survival gear. Let's face it, when you need it, you NEED it. If your food buckets are in disarray, you will need to waste time you could be using to make your situation better on the organization of items that should already be stored properly. In a situation where a blizzard has dropped power, is your spare heater and/or generator gassed up and ready to go? Do you know where the funnel to fill the tank is? When was the last time you tested your emergency items?

Your situational awareness is also directly affected by your organizational skills. If your EDC items are in order, you don't need to go patting yourself to find your keys. You know where everything is, and you have developed a habit of keeping them in the same spot, regardless of your attire choice. This allows you to keep your awareness directed outward, not inward on your lost items.

Breaking it down (much like your preparedness) is a fundamental skill that must be learned in your own manner. Everyone organizes things differently in their minds, so everyone will organize their items differently. That's fine, but I do recommend organizing things in tiers. Firstly, organize the things you touch and use every day. Next, organize your critically important items, finally you will start organizing your long term sustainment items. This will allow you to make progress without it becoming overwhelmed in the process. Your personal efficiency will increase exponentially, as will your ability to determine your needs.

I've always found that the most successful people I know are the ones that utilize their time well, or use lots of it. Either you can kill yourself working countless hours, or you can make those hours count for more. I choose the latter. My family and my community are better served by my presence as a youth leader and head of household.