No getting around it… you’re going to die. The sooner you figure that out – I mean really internalize it – the sooner you can start living your best life. Among the many well-worn cliches about death and life is one of my favorites: Man is born beside the road to death. (AKA, “Valar Morghulis“).
Humor me for a little bit of philosophy… My personal thoughts on death:
- It gives me urgency. I know it’s coming, and that knowledge drives me to achieve while I have time.
- It helps me relax and enjoy life. I know it’s coming, and that knowledge drives me to relax and enjoy the life I have.
- I’m saved through Jesus Christ. I don’t fear death.
- But I’m in no hurry to die. For one thing, I have stuff to achieve and relaxing to do. For another, I have kids. As long as they are kids my job isn’t done.
Say what you want about death, but one thing is clear: today is not the day I want to die. So I prepare. I don’t prepare to live forever, because that would suck. I prepare to live long enough.
Long enough to give my wife one more kiss. Long enough to see another sunset. Long enough to see one more Dallas Cowboys Championship. Long enough to learn one more thing about the world. Long enough to see my kids grow up.
And there you have it – until my kids’ future is secured, I’m not going to die. I still have work to do. In an emergency or survival situation, watching my family suffer and die is much worse than my own death. That’s why I’m a prepper. I don’t want to have to answer my kids when they ask why there isn’t any more food. When it’s SO easy to buy food to prepare.
In this post, we dwell on death and suffering. By understanding the things that cause us to suffer and die, we can understand how to prepare, and therefore to avoid suffering and death.
For a little while, anyway.
One, Two, Freddy’s Coming For You…
The list of things we have to worry about is deceptively short. We don’t have an insurmountable set of challenges separating us from perpetual worldly existence. When you take away all of our trappings, we’re both vulnerable and resilient. We have many threats to our continued journey, but also many evolutionary advantages that enable us to endure.
It helps to consider my mortality in two scenarios. In the first scenario, I die of old age. Call it natural causes. Sure, if I eat less cheese I can live longer but what’s the point in that?
Routine Causes of Death
The CDC tells us the available options in this scenario, and of course it’s no surprise to any of us.
- Heart Disease
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
- Influenza / Pneumonia
- Nephritis, Nephrotic Syndrome, and Nephrosis (Kidney Failure)
The Old Age scenario is the way the book is supposed to end. Maybe that’s not how we WANT it to end, but there’s a reason the CDC puts it in that order. They’re the LEADING causes of death after all. Not the most DESIRED causes of death.
The list of outcomes in the long-term / old-age scenario isn’t what we’re here for. There are other websites for that. Having said that, get some exercise. Eat some fruit. Go to bed. Maybe skip that last beer. Buckle your seatbelt.
Emergency Causes of Death
We’re here to prepare for the other scenarios. These are the scenarios where things don’t go to script:
- We can get too cold or too hot (shelter).
- We can run out of water.
- We can run out of food.
- We can come under attack. (security)
- We can get sick or injured (health)
- We can get stuck somewhere we don’t want to be (transportation).
- We can lose the convenience of gas, electric, and water utilities (grid).
- We can lose contact with the world (communications / comms).
- We can lose the ability to maintain our current lifestyle (finances).
- We can get bored and/or lose hope (mental).
By understanding these things can kill us, we can learn how to survive them. Once we know how to survive them, then we’re prepared. Prepared to not die.