Yep, we’re gonna have that conversation.
How often do we devote the time to actually contemplating a world without our modern conveniences? Not the more complex elements of civilization that we take for granted, such as internet access and cell phone service- just the basics.
But the fundamental modern elements that allow our civilization to function and keeps chaos at bay. Running water, electricity, food at the grocery store and gas at the pumps- these are all elements of modern society and very recent developments in the grand scheme of man’s existence on earth.
Living in a small town in the Rockies can be a humbling experience. As I’ve mentioned, the internet is a crap-shoot, we have no gas station and there is one store where I can buy groceries. Now, the next town is only 6 miles away and has all those “modern conveniences” but in a blizzard, like today, I really don’t feel like trekking down the road and running the gauntlet with all the tourists leaving Breckenridge.
Hearing the wind howling, literally howling, down from the hills and bouncing off the walls of my cabin is humbling. Seeing the gas stove kick on when a chill hits the cabin is a blessing. When the lights go out, the whole town goes totally black. And you’re not quite sure when you’ll be bathed in electric light again.
Being this close to the raw force of nature and being aware of the actual resources it takes to live in a place like this makes me pause and contemplate the actual core of our civilization and will it last when one or more of the staples holding it together crumbles?
This town will survive and actually, it will probably thrive. People already live “off the grid” to a degree and there are enough local people producing products to live off of, if necessary.
But this line of thought makes me ponder the fact that I’m unprepared if something were to happen. If the oil supply were disrupted, if the dollar totally tanks or if the grid just collapsed- due to weather or a man-made interference- I am completely unprepared.
Now, I’m fully aware that this is not a conversation many people engage in- many are too afraid to even consider the possibility or just have blind faith that the system will always exist and function for them. Though I am a rather happy person most of the time, I am a pessimist when it comes to the intentions of our political leaders, their intelligence to do what’s best for the country and I am totally pessimistic when it comes to the actual structures that we, as a civilization, depend on for our survival.
I believe we should depend on ourselves for that survival, particularly in today’s world. If the proverbial ‘shit hit the fan’ right now, I would be totally unprepared, but I’d at least be in a town where I could manage and I think between my roommate (who idolizes pure mountain man survival) and I, we’d survive. But I am truly behind the times if the lights went out and we were tossed into the dark ages.
I have at least planned an plotted for the possibility and believe the next year will spent preparing for an off-grid lifestyle. And even if the lights stay on and the world stays a happy place, I’ll be living a truly simple life, and a rather cheap one at that.
When was the last time you contemplated the possibility of rolling the clock back 200 years? Does the thought put the fear of God into you and just cause you to shut the line of though off instantly? Or does your imagination run wild with the possibilities of living off the land, returning to nature and living a “simple” life?