Saturday, October 14, 2023

Be neighborly in wake of blaze

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for September 10, 2023)

I saw firsthand the fear and confusion some employees of the Clovis Walmart felt after their store burned. These are our friends, family, and neighbors just trying to earn money to pay their bills; suddenly the rug was pulled out from under them through no fault of their own.

The company has stepped up, under difficult circumstances, to do what they can for the employees. This is appreciated.

My family, like so many others in the area, has been directly affected by this fire. Most people around here will eventually be affected one way or another. A few local businesses will probably benefit, as will

It's popular to criticize corporations. I do it, too, though for a different reason than most.

I consider corporations either a branch of government or a too-willing lever government uses against individual liberty. Still, I would never wish destruction on any business I can choose to either patronize or avoid. As long as I am not coerced into using and paying for their services, the way government forces all its "services" on everyone, I don't consider them the enemy.

Some people criticize corporations like Walmart as a drain on the local economy, but this is short-sighted. The employees earn money which ends up being spent at businesses all around town and beyond. Without those jobs, there would be less money available to spend at all the small local businesses. It's a net positive. Businesses that understand what a store such as Walmart can and can't do can thrive even in its shadow.

I know this because I've worked for those businesses much of my life. We would send customers to Walmart for the things we couldn't compete with on price, and we focused on meeting the niche needs Walmart couldn't or wouldn't serve. It doesn't have to be a war; there are ways to coexist. In the future, understanding this will become even more crucial.

For now, be grateful that no one was physically hurt in the fire. Think of the displaced employees. Take a moment to appreciate the convenience we took for granted before it was lost. Finally, as is thoughtful, considerate, and neighborly even if there had been no fire, see if anyone you know needs you to pick something up from the store when you're heading that way.

I look forward to the store rising from the ashes as soon as possible.
I couldn't do this without your support.

Is prepping getting a little more attention again?

Once again, events have brought prepping to the minds of people who don't generally think much about it. I'm seeing more videos on the topic again, and seeing it mentioned more in other places online.

I pretty much never stop thinking about prepping, although sometimes personal problems push it down the priority pole a bit.

I encourage everyone I know to “prep”. I always have. Getting people to listen when things don't seem pressing has been the biggest problem. With most people, anyway.

It’s always been an uphill struggle for me where my relatives are concerned, largely because of their somewhat apocalyptic religious views (especially anytime Israel is involved). But, over the years I have made some headway.

I've gotten my parents to store water, and they've always had loads of stored food. So they're probably more prepared than most. Plus, they are only slightly more than a half mile from me. I can get to them (or bring them to me) in case of emergency. I've walked to their house against 75+ MPH headwinds (it wasn't pleasant, but I made it), so I can probably get there in any situation I'm likely to face. Anything short of murderous hordes, anyway.

Several years ago, my dad asked to reborrow a gun he had given me to use as his carry gun. I wish he'd carry something more effective, but he's recoil-shy. At least he finally sees the wisdom in having something available.

The rest of the extended family, including ex-wife #1, is about the same. I encourage them to prep, but it's hard to get them to take it too seriously. Even after the Covid drama. They said at the time they should have listened to me, but the lesson faded as soon as normalcy returned. It's easier to ignore than prepare. "We made it through that, so I guess we'll be OK next time." Some of them "joke" they'll just come stay with me if anything happens. I've discouraged that plan.

I considered Covid a dress rehearsal after I saw it for what it really was. It could have been a lot worse-- if the disease had been as bad as they wanted us to believe, for example. Or, if something more dangerous threatened our existence.

You can't prepare for everything, but you can prepare for most of the more likely things. Do that. Then, for fun, you can prepare for Zombies and get yourself a little further down the road to being prepared for "everything".

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