We live in strange times. The fact that I’m even writing such an article is proof positive that these are indeed very strange times. For probably the first time in the history of the human race, most parents never even think about teaching their children the most basic skills needed to survive on this planet. We live among millions of adult humans who themselves cannot provide food, shelter or water for themselves without hiring it out to someone else.
Now if you are reading this article, I trust you are not one of those adults who posses no basic survival skills. My question for you is, are you teaching your children these skills? I am often surprised to learn that the answer is no. There are many reasons I’ve heard why people neglect to teach these things to their offspring. Some reasons I’ve heard are, “I don’t want to scare them” or “I don’t think they would be interested”. Neither of these reasons hold any water at all. You owe your children more than excuses.
For those worried about scaring their children, I ask you this. What is more scary, living in an uncertain world without the basic skills to survive or being confident that you can provide food, shelter and water for yourself no matter the circumstances? Having basic preparedness skills makes the world a much less scary place! Children taught basic survival skills are confident, empowered people who will excel in life; no matter what life throws their way. They become problem solvers who can think outside the box. One word that I wouldn’t use to describe such a person is “scared”.
For those who think their children wouldn’t be interested, I don’t think you know children very well. Children have not yet been taught that they are a cog in the industrial wheel. They have a natural yearning to learn how to survive. I have never met a child who didn’t love going into the woods and building a shelter from scratch, starting a fire, trapping some meat, cooking on an open fire, or exploring the natural world. It is exciting, exhilarating, and fun.
The biggest reason, of course, that we must teach or children these things is the fact that we live in very uncertain times. We live in a world that is built on ponzi schemes, lies, wars, an aging power grid, and a just in time delivery system that is extremely vulnerable. The modern world is like a crazy episode of the Twilight Zone, millions of people with no useful skills, crammed into unsustainable cities acting as pawns for corrupt governments. You owe it to your children to make them into people who are not dependent on the system and have the ability to rise above it. You must ask the question, do you want your offspring to be among the casualties of the inevitable collapse or do you want them to survive and rebuild a better world grounded in reality?
Another reason to teach your children how to survive is that of freedom. Do you want your children to be free men or slaves? To be truly free, one needs to end their dependency on those who wish to control them. Consider the wise words of Wendall Berry…
A person dependent on somebody else for everything from potatoes to opinions may declare that he is a free man, and his government may issue a certificate granting him his freedom, but he will not be free. He is that variety of specialist known as a consumer, which means that he is the abject dependent of producers. How can he be free if he can do nothing for himself? What is the First Amendment to him whose mouth is stuck to the tit of the “affluent society”? Men are free precisely to the extent that they are equal to their own needs. The most able are the most free.
At the end of the day, your children deserve to know how to survive. If you posses these skills it is your responsibility to pass them down. If you don’t have these skills, it is your responsibility to learn them and teach them to your offspring. All of my children have the skills to survive. They can build fires and shelters, harvest wild game, forage for plants and berries, plant a garden and a host of other valuable skills. If I die tomorrow, I will go to the grave confident that my offspring can handle whatever is thrown at them. I can rest easy, knowing they will be the ones who own the future, maintain their freedom, and offer the solutions to the problems that will turn the world as we know it upside down. I challenge you to do the same!
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