One aspect of dealing with distressed conditions about which we don’t normally think is reliance on those around us, in our immediate surroundings, when trouble strikes. The world is a different place now, and fewer among us have the kinds of relationships with neighbors that we once did. A big reason for that is the way in which the family and social dynamic has changed over the course of the last several decades. Families are more disjointed than ever….divorce is the new marital normal, both spouses work outside of the home…and when you think about the composition of neighborhoods that result, there’s just not as many examples of traditional families existing and interacting within the same neighborhood setting as there once was.
Beyond the way the “typical” family situation has changed, there’s the way changes in society have conspired to make us more distant from neighbors. Deteriorated economic conditions cause more of us to work longer, and the advent of technology has made it so that much of our “socialization” can take place through a computer.
Look around your neighborhood; do you see the same level of interactions between neighbors that you did when you were a kid? Not likely, and that can be a problem when a survival environment ensues.
Establishing kinship with neighbors is important for two reasons. First, it is easier to turn to those who are close by for something when we already have a good relationship with those people. Second, even if we don’t need something from someone else and others don’t need something from us, the kinship established will greatly diminish the likelihood that those around you will turn on you when primitive conditions begin to take hold.
Neighborhood association meetings, neighborhood watch groups, and other organized mechanisms that bring neighbors together are excellent platforms from which to build these ties, but also, simply making the effort to get to know your neighbors on an individual, unstructured basis works about as well as anything (and always has).
To some, this notion may seem a little silly or unnecessary to cite, but when survival conditions take hold, you may be surprised at how much even the most self-reliant person is grateful that he can look on his neighbors as part of a team. Safety is found in numbers, and strength is found in numbers; it’s just better.
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