Choosing Survival Companions: The Company We Keep

Strength in Moral Character, not in Numbers, Skills or Stuff


Far into my teenage years, my parents always wanted to meet my friends to size them up and either encourage or dissuade my continuance of the relationship. The decision was mine but, ultimately, I would find that my parents were correct in their assessments. Over time, I developed that sense my parents had of knowing if a person was good or bad for me. Friendships will either inspire us to better our lives or bring us down or cause our personal growth and happiness to stagnate. How are your friendships affecting you? Will they be there during the lowest times in your life; when you have nothing to offer them except your friendship? Do you trust them to "have your back" when the rest of the world seems to be against you?

An Emergency Plan should include working together with a trusted group of people to prepare for any emergency. For most, this will be a spouse or other family members or close friends.

RULE #1: Be generous to help others understand the importance of preparing for an emergency and to point them to public resources so they can develop their own plan BUT DO NOT divulge any of your own personal plans, strategies, supplies or resources to anyone other than highly-trusted friends or family members.

Character, Conduct and Attitude Outweigh Talent: Too much emphasis is placed on talent when trying to explain how people achieve great things. Talent plays a much smaller role in the success someone has compared to their attitude. Friends can become enemies when faced with an environmental disaster or social unrest that increases stress and depletes resources. Build personal survival relationships based on moral and upright principals and character and not on their skillset or what they have. People without morals and upright principals will abandon, or turn against, you.

As I was preparing this Posting in my mind, I thought about the old-testament biblical account of Gideon and the Midianites (Judges, Chapters 6-8). 300 Israelite soldiers (reduced in number, by God’s instruction, from 32,000) defeated the “Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples who had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.” When it was all said and done, those 300 defeated hundreds of thousands. But, of course, God’s intent was for the Israelites to depend on Him versus themselves (strength in numbers . . . NOT!). He did not need 32,000. He did not need 300. He just wanted the best and the best to be focused on the task as a unified team. It was not the quantity but the integrity.

If you don't already have a close-knit group of like-minded people, from whom you can choose to join your survival team? How do you find these people? Ah, the old conundrum: how do you identify moral, trustworthy people, to whom you can identify yourself as a prepper without compromising your security in such a way as to render your preps irrelevant; connecting with someone, into whose hands you've placed your life, who will fumble the ball and sacrifice you, and other members of your team, for their own benefit? From my research on this topic, the Common Interest Groups (CIGs) seem to work best; those that have built up over time, slowly, and composed of friends with whom people have had long-time relationships. So, the key is "don't be in a rush" to gather your team. Your life and safety will depend on it.

REASONS FOR A TEAM:
1 - More people means more things can be done
2 - More rest for all by setting up shifts to do work and guard duties
3 - Reduces boredom, provides encouragement and other points of view
4 - Broadens the skills set with different backgrounds, talents and strengths

THINGS THAT CAN DESTROY A TEAM FROM WITHIN:
1 - Laziness (not staying busy on preparations, planning and security)
2 - Greed / Gluttony (obsession of wanting too much or unnessary stuff)
3 - Envy / Selfishness (every man for himself - wanting what others have, keeping what I have)
4 - Anger (losing control)
5 - Pride (thinking that I have all the answers)
6 - Immorality (lack of, or distorted, conscience [sense of right & wrong])
7 - Lacking a Sense of Community: Those who do not have a sense of "community" develop anxiety, depression and codependency issues. When people focus on the needs of others (community), they find purpose in their lives. They lose "self" to find "self". (Look up video/podcast: The Mike Slater Show, Is America Losing its Faith?). Careful consideration should be given, as a Team Candidate, to a Person without a sense of "community".

SUGGESTIONS FOR GATHERING YOUR TEAM IF YOU ARE SEARCHING:
1 – Join local CIG organizations and/or online Forums or Blogs. They are not only good for finding like-minded people but great for gathering ideas and getting advice.

2 – Monitor the verbal and written "conversations" and dynamics (between members) within the CIGs. During these conversations, participant personalities, values and skills will emerge to help identify those who are compatible with you, your values and goals.

3 – At a high level, and without exposing personal information and plans, begin communicating directly with those who have piqued your interest as a potential team member.

4 – At the appropriate times, slowly build your relationship with emails, phone calls and, eventually, a brief, face-to-face meeting at a public place for a quick drink or meal. Treat your first meeting as a blind date where you may find that you don’t want to stay long with this person.

Morals and trust are key attributes of your survival team members. Go slow, be thorough and don't compromise on your selection process.

CONSIDER IF/HOW GOVERNANCE WILL BE HANDLED AFTER A SHTF EVENT:
Though I have gathered my trusted group, there may not be a viable "government" to organize the masses after a SHTF event. Should I think beyond what "I" will do or start thinking about what WE will do to establish some semblance of order? Should we just go on our merry way alone or should we unite to better organize the chaos? If we unite, who will do this and how will it be structured? Consider these links for further contemplation on this topic:
Justice in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) world?
Sweden's Mobilization: Lessons for Preppers!

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:
How to Find Survivalist Friends
Building Trust with Body Language
How your friends can influence your mood and behaviour
The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship [Jonathan Holmes, Ed Welch]
Prepping Your Significant Other For Prepping
Building a Preparedness Community
Reasons To Join A Survival Group
7 Deadly Sins Of Survival To Avoid At All Costs
ZertNation.com
Top Prepper Websites
Google Search to find like-minded companions
Prepper Dating