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Your word is your bond

Not that long ago it was recognised that a persons honour, their life, depended on their word. Their word meant everything and it was given freely but not lightly. Business was made based on someone’s word and those that kept their word became successful. People fell on their swords over a dishonour and were expected too. Even as recently as the late 1960s or so people were offered an honourable way out rather than face being dragged through a trial.

Times change and now we have legal constructs to replace them that people use money and weasel words to twist to their advantage. Very few people, although there are some, will trust someone’s word where it really matters. People have seen that words are said, the meaning distorted, until what you thought you had agreed is not what the other side claims they meant. Dishonour and lies today brings no censure. In fact people go through trial, are found guilty, and continue on doing the same things knowing that only the legally defined law enforcers can do anything to them, and they won’t. There is no longer any concept of honour. Even, especially, with our supposedly honourable gentlemen.

Fast forward to a long term survival situation. People will be careful about who they do business with. Those that keep their word will do well and those that have not will suffer. Defaulters can expect more than a harsh word from a judge and the stigma of a defaulter if they default on something significant where there is no weaselling worded law to protect them.

So, bearing that in mind, do you need to change how you do business? Do you promise things that you cannot deliver and rely on others to do? If so you need to start being careful. You need to build up solid relationships based on trust. Even if things do not go pear shaped it will stand you in good stead and should really be the way you work.

I work to a very simple philosophy. I don’t promise things I cannot keep. I only promise what I am willing to do and if I have good reason to do so. Many people use the word promise without meaning it and when asked to action that promise they blatantly say ‘Well I didn’t actually mean a real promise.’

I’m always very trusting. I accept what people say and what promises they make and I react only on that. I don’t bother trying to work out innuendo or hints. I ask outright. I don’t want to have to guess what is being said or hinted at. I like to be clear on what is going on. I am also not very forgiving. Lie or screw me, or mine, over and it is over between us. I don’t do second chances and I don’t accept that having a hard life when you were young is an excuse to do bad things now. Many people have bad lives when they are young and grow up to be good people.

This attitude will undoubtedly be the way that people will come to behave in a survival situation. They will want to know who they can trust and who they can’t trust and treat that person appropriately. They will deal with who they trust while bypassing those they do not as much as possible. They will gather some of that trust information from people they already know and trust. So you being untrustworthy will have repercussions beyond any that are in place now. No whingey whiney liberal will be there to uphold your complain that a reference is unfavourable and it could mean the difference between living and dying.

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