If the quarantine has taught me anything in this last year, it has taught me flexibility. I know I have been saying that over the last few posts, but flexibility has been key this year. I would like to think I was flexible before the pandemic, but I have had to reassess that.
One of the things that happened this year was that one of my kids moved back from Sioux Falls and now lives with me. Their situation changed because of the pandemic. Sioux Falls was originally hit hard by the coronavirus and they did not think it was a good place for the little ones to be especially a newborn. Their economy is now feeling the effects of the virus and jobs are harder to find there. With a few other considerations, they made the decision to stay in Iowa for now where they are closer to family. He is still working in Sioux Falls so they are making sacrifices to keep this working.
The thing is that I always said that once my kids left home, they weren't coming back. They could come visit, of course, but they couldn't come back to live at home. I raised them to be living on their own and independent once they left for college or moved into their first apartment (usually the apartment). While I still have one in a dorm room at college and one at home yet, this has been mostly successful. When the pandemic hit and many things changed for all my kids, I found out I needed to reassess my attitude and my thoughts on this matter.
One thing in the prepping world that can be a hot topic of conversation is community and hospitality. I know if something really went sideways, I would have up to thirty extra people at my property. That is a lot of people and a lot of preparations to think about. We need more beds and living quarters. We are in the process of trying to figure that out now which is also including the buildings and bins still standing on the property. I also know a few of those people will show up with their own living quarters (campers) and as many supplies as they can transport.
I would welcome all these people with open arms because (1) I know they have skills that will be handy; (2) the extra hands will be needed; and (3) I consider them to be family if they aren't already. I know these people and known them for a very long time. I had to think about this long and hard because I know people change when faced with difficult situations.
I was not sold on the community idea for a long time. I am an introvert by nature. I like people, but I get tired of people. I am very careful to always have my own space to retreat to when I need some time to think. However, I also live on seven acres. If I get another place, it would similar size or a little smaller. That is a lot of work for one person. This has become easier as the kids have gotten older and can help more. The more people that are there to help with the work and the growing of food, the more we can do together.
However, building a community is not to be confused with offering hospitality. Sometimes it is when people are worried about security and supplies. There is this idea that if someone shows up on your doorstep, they need a permanent place to stay which is not usually the case. Community is something you are trying to build to increase your workforce and chances of survival. Hospitality is something you offer to someone who is coming to visit, passing through, or just needs a place for the night.
As preppers, we also need to think about hospitality. I take to heart the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have done to you". Otherwise, treat others how you would want to be treated. That means a lot when you are talking about hospitality. If someone was looking for a meal and a place to lay their head, what is the harm of offering that hospitality?
Many of you would say that is a good way to get yourself robbed and/or even killed. You may be right in that respect. You would have to exercise caution no matter what. However, what if you were in that person's shoes? If you needed those things, you would be more than humbled to accept them from a stranger. You would be grateful for a hot meal. What harm is there in offering that to someone in need? You aren't offering tours of your food storage and guns. You are giving someone a place to lay their head or a meal to give them sustenance to keep going.
How do my kids figure into all of this? When you are raising your kids, you don't necessarily think of them as adults. You want them to become a functional adult in the world who can hold a job and live on their own. However, your prepping plans probably cover your kids as dependents. You expect them to leave home and be prepared themselves. What happens when this changes?
My kids were not apart of my long-range prepping plans. That was an oversight on my part because they are very functional people who are very capable and have people in their lives who are also very capable human beings. When three of my four kids were home this summer, I began to see them as part of my community (that also includes the one that wasn't home). Not only my kids but kids of good friends of mine that are very much part of my community now. We have raised our kids into adults who will be essential assets to our community if they choose to be apart of it.
I want my kids to know that they will always be apart of my community. I also want my kids to know that hospitality is not only expected (with caution) but should always be offered even in survival situations. That if they choose to be preppers themselves (they already are in a variety of ways), treating others how you want to be treated doesn't go in the trash. They also should know that they should always be building a community of people around them that they trust completely and can rely on in any situation. If a hospitality situation goes sideways, they will have people who will defend and help them resolve the threat.
We are always changing in life and our plans need to keep up. We will always need people we can depend on. We also need to still treat others how we want to be treated. Some things do change, but some things don't.
Thanks for reading,
(Notice: I am an affiliate for Amazon LLC. It doesn't cost you anyting, but it certainly helps to bring a little extra income into my home. Thanks in advance for any links you use!)
Check out these books also to help you be more prepared for the future!