Sunday, July 20, 2008

Do It Yourself?

I have a friend, let's call him James. When I talk with James, I start realizing all of the problems that will be faced by the people in the community who have prepped and those in the community who have not.

James is a low-grade prepper. He has built up some food in his basement and reads the latest NRA propaganda and grumbles about the decline of the West. In short, he is a lot like all of us. When I visit him, he always wants to give me the fruits of his latest labor. He dabbles in just about everything. Blacksmithing, carpentry, wine-making....hell, he even produced some of the leakiest damn barrels ever made. When you go to his house, the place is an anthem to Home Depot. The guy has done everything to everything in his house.

Why I am telling you all of this is that, when you get right down to it, James really sucks at doing all of these things. The barrels that I described earlier were of a kind with the rest of the stuff in his life. Not really all that well done. He see something that needs to get done or need doing, and he immediately rushes out and gets a how-to book and does it himself. But he really doesn't have that much skill at any single task. He does serviceable work. But the quality just isn't there.

Now, if y'all are like me, you may have a tendency to follow in James footsteps. Hell, I read things about making my own soap and start the planning for it. But I think that we had oughta be careful about this tendency. I am not certain about this, but perhaps the best way to approach it is to pick something necessary and useful and get really good at it. That way if you have to react to the bad times, you have something that you can trade that people will want.

Remember that this is a warning to myself as well as a warning to you. Don't dilute yourself too much. You can't know and prepare for everything. The best that you can be is be useful and fit into a society of other useful people. You can dink around with all things, but realize that maybe there is another way to do things.


Mayberry said...

Good points, nobody is good at everything. Nor can they be. Unless you do something nearly every day, you can't perfect your methods. Proper tools are also essential to a trade, and most of us can't afford to get everything, or even know all the tools that are needed. I'm a tool nut, but even I have run across tools that I have no idea what they're for.

This is one of the main reasons why it will be essential to at least have a "network" of folks, if not an outright survival group. Different folks to accomplish different tasks, or produce different goods.

riverwalker said...

It's going to take people with different skills to keep things going. Getting good at one thing is great but don't forget to learn other skills that could help also.


tjbbpgob said...

We used to have a name for those fellows "jack of all trades, master of none". They are sometimes handy to have around.