On Survival and Letting it Go
My kids are obsessed with Frozen right now, and they, along with everyone else in their age range, have memorized the movie’s signature song: “Let it Go.”
I found myself singing the song and nodding along in agreement on reading a recent piece by Selco at SHTFSchool.com. Selco was a survivor of the Balkan wars and lived for a year in a city under siege, so he’s actually been through a STHF situation and lived to tell about it. His blog is packed with tons of stories and anecdotes that provide practical insight, various aspects of prepping, and in this particular post he stresses the importance of just letting some things go, no matter how much you had invested in them. Or, as the ST6 captain said in No Easy Day (and I quote here from memory, so this may not be exact), “Know the plan, practice the plan, but don’t marry the plan.”
There was man who before SHTF was owner of few cafes, pretty wealthy man. He was involved in some crime business and you could hear from time to time how he was involved in some fight, or he was arrested, or served some time…
Those stories were rumors only, but in his cafe in town all guests were his crew, and going there for coffee was not forbidden, but also was not bright idea… In short he was something like “tough guy” in city talks. Weapons, secret gambling, prostitution etc. Guy with his crew.
On first rumors of troubles he started to sell his cafes I guess in order to leave the area, but he was too late. When SHTF, and groups and gangs started to form, he simply gave his cafe to the leader of one group in exchange for protection.
Later when that leader and group were destroyed… he immediately agree to write statement that he is “selling“ all his cafes to the leader of new group, of course in exchange for the life and freedom…
After that he was something like “lone crazy dude” through the rest of the SHTF period. He was nobody.
My friend talked with him before he left the country [after the war], and after some time they touched the subject that lot of people wanted to know.
Why did he go down so easy? Why did he not resist at the beginning with his crew? Why did he not had his own strong group during SHTF? Things like that. He had original answer:
“Every time they were stronger than me, I simply had to let it go.”
There you have it: probably the best advice for finding success in difficult situations of any kind — not just SHTF, but all sorts of difficult and important life events — that you’ll ever get. You have to be flexible and willing to bail on everything you’ve invested at a moment’s notice if that’s what it’s going to take to survive.
Or, as a famous movie survivor once put it (and then didn’t take his own advice, which later got him killed):
“A guy told me one time, ‘Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner.'”
Unlike DeNiro’s character in Heat, I don’t advocate the above with respect to relationships, but we could all use a dose of that detachment when it comes to equipment, tactics, and even life plans. Assess the situation as clearly as you can, and then do what it takes to get through, even if that means letting it go.