(Dedicated to Sarah and Mike.)
This morning I awoke to a wonderful world. God has given us a nice cool cloudy morning and the pollen has my allergies on full alert which keeps my nose on a regulated drip. When I jerked my first cup of the day I dripped a long line of coffee across the wife's white tile floor. Both The Drudge Report and Fox News report possible hostilities in the Ukraine. Much of our nation is under a cold blanket of white and Susan's old goat died. She reportedly cried for three days. She emailed and said her will to live and work the land of her organic free range homestead had come to an end, and asked what price should she paint on the for sale sign.
Take it easy. Relax, for Pete's sake.
Millions across this great country are without work, or purpose, and find the meaning of life pointless. 'Ole Harry Sanders, out in his desert cabin, found dried mouse turds in his beer. It's said he almost commented suicide over the waste of it. Marriage has become secondary to the thrill of momentary lust. The lack of funds, money problems and corporate layoffs, have taken a great toll on otherwise rock solid relationships. Hundreds of thousands have lost their healthcare and suffer pain needlessly.
Want my advice. Smile. Cheer the heck up. Pet your dog and kiss your wife. Take your grandchildren, or your pet, for a walk. Enjoy the snow, or the rain, or the gray black satin city streets and while you're there, reach over and give your neighbor a handshake. God is good - He's given you life.
I receive, as Little Bit is fond of saying, 'whole lots of email.' Many I truly enjoy. Others, not so much because the latter are inevitably filled with lost hope and most of all, fear. They begin, "Mr. Stephen, Harry lost his job and we just don't have enough money to buy beans and bullets and our bread has grown moldy and what should we do? Oh my Lord we're scared and the world is about to end, please help us." I paraphrased, of course. Bless their hearts.
(I write this tongue in cheek but I take your letters seriously, and with respect, and treat all confidentially.)
Hey, folks, chill out. Smile. Take a deep breath and relax. Trust me, if the world ends tomorrow a bag of beans will not help you one little eddy bit. Several years in the past I gathered together a group of friends. It took me over four years but eventually I found several nice families with like minded world views much like mine own. I restricted my search to hardened military minds, men of violence. My first advice to these men, are you ready for it - 'Don't Live In Fear, Live Prepared.' Today each of these men, some combat vets, are gentle, intelligent, fun loving, men. They walk through life with a smile on their faces and live life to its fullest.
Why, because they are not afraid. They take life's lumps with heads held high, and because they know the rest of the group has their backs and God will provide. They don't complain. They don't whimper and cry for they know tomorrow will be another beautiful day under His beautiful benevolent care.
No person need walk through life in constant fear, it isn't healthy. Just because you're a Prepper (or Survivalist) do not allow the lifestyle to badge you paranoid. You have friends, family, and if you are a believer in a higher power - God and His church.
Paranoid gives birth to fear and fear is a sneaky old bitch. It warps the gray matter and whispers bad advice. It'll make you climb trees for sleep and one morning you'll awaken to find you've lined the walls of your home with canned tomatoes and you'll have coated your underwear with lead and when you glance into the mirror find loaded magazines dangle from your ears instead of those pretty diamonds Jesse gave you for Christmas.
Which brings me to this: those prepping supplies will wait. When money is tight - take a friggin break. It isn't necessary to buy twenty extra rounds of ammunition. Leave off on the beans and pressure bandages. Stockpiling that extra one hundred gallons of gasoline can wait until next Spring. Take care of your children and families. Pay the mortgage and utilities, the end of the world as we know it will be placed on hold, I promise.
If the evil whispers in your ear and suggest it would be a wonderful idea to take your battle rifle and walk towards the school grounds with ill intent - please pause a moment and sit and write me an email. I will listen. If this same evil has painted your life into a corner and believes it's best if you offer your God given life as a sacrifice, please remember I will be here - allow me a moment to suggest otherwise. Walk outside for just a second and take a deep breath of our Lord's clean air and look at that sky, isn't it beautiful. Listen to the birds sing. Hold a child in your arms. Bake a batch of cookies. I promise - life is wonderful and tomorrow the cherry blossoms will bloom.