I remember once when I was in high school and the electric lawn mower we had broke down. I would grouse to my dad about using the hand mower, and he would give me this look of disbelief and I think a touch of sadness, then he would say… back in my day we never had anything but a hand mower to cut grass. Didn’t I tell you that I bought my first car with money I made cutting other peoples grass… and we never even dreamed of a power mower. Sometimes, son, I think we should go back to the way things were.
It must be some kind of genetics but I too now long for the ways of old, to be thrust into a time machine and have society as a whole brought back about 50 years. Yes today we have uncountable ‘modern’ convenience to make our life easier, but overall is this reliance a good thing? We rely so much on things out of our control that when these things break down our lives are directly effected.
Take for instance the banks. I can easily remember going into a bank with my bank book to make a deposit. The teller would look up my account on paper files add the new money and run the book through a printer where it added the amount to my bank book. Then the teller would actually initial the transaction in the book! If for some reason the teller could not find my account card they would go to the master bank book where it was recorded and make the changes. Now as everyone knows our banking information is (only) stored on some bank’s computer hard drive.
I have seen what happens when the power goes out in our small town of Fairbanks. No ATM’s, no cash registers working, no gas pumps working… Well you get the idea, we are totally at the mercy of the electronic age. When one part of this interconnected system breaks down the ripple effect spreads to a much wider area. When this occurs people tend to get upset and the result is chaos. If this were to happen in a large city or God forbid an entire geographic region, I am sure, depending on how long the problem lasts, that before long we would see martial law declared and the national guard patrolling the streets. (Remember what happened in New Orleans after the hurricane)
I am not saying that we should go back to the paper records of old. Or that every store have back up manual cash registers. I am saying people should be fully aware of the potential for this happening in there home town, and take some personal responsibility for there wellbeing. I lived in Philadelphia with a population of almost 2 million people and I have seen first hand what happens when a major snow storm is one the way. You have to ware football pads to go food shopping. People just act stupid when they perceive an emergency situation is threating.
When we live our lives with the knowledge that this possibility exists then maybe we would be prepared for its eventuality. We laugh at certain religions that encourage there members to have at least a months food supply on hand. We think some people are crazy to keep some extra cash hidden in there home. We look at people that have a backup generator and gallons of fresh water in there basement as some kind of end of world crazies.
Like the kid with the hand lawn mower, a man with a gas chain saw can survive and build a house if he wanted to. The man with some extra food, water, medicine, generator and weapon can ‘safely’ sit in his home and watch the others run in circles and fight each other for the quickly disappearing supplies that are out there.
Living in Philadelphia for 48 years I didn’t realize this, probably because I watched too much reality TV that never showed the ‘real’ reality…
now I am well stocked & no TV.