These are Trying Times – Mental Preparedness
Excerpt: Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, August 24, 1910, James J Putnam MD
“The nations of Europe are engaged in an unexampled conflict, for which the name “calamity” seems too trivial, the issues are so momentous and the emotions so varied and so intense. We are warned that a similar upheaval may sometime reach our shores and are urged to prepare ourselves to meet new military and civic dangers.
But when one thinks seriously on preparedness in this sense, the problem begins to widen and to become more personal, until the question of the war in Europe – it’s causes, its emotional history, its probable results, the obligations of America with reference to international affairs – relates itself naturally to the problem with which these lectures aim to deal:
What shall we do to make our children and ourselves mentally prepared?”
Preparedness is a mind set. Pure and simple. It is about being a survivor, not a victim. I believe that nothing of value is ever accomplished without careful planning and execution. You may get lucky sometimes and have things fall together without a plan. But it’s easier with a plan!
If you want to say “we are prepared” for the challenges that face us, you must imagine what it will take for your family to get there. Imagine the possible scenarios and know how you will respond. The needs will be different for each family. Those who live in the city will prepare differently from those who live in the country.
Imagining the scenarios is a good start, but it’s not going to get you very far if you don’t know how to execute the plan. Get the training you need to be safe. This training will give you the confidence you need and confidence is your biggest ally – your mental preparation.
You must practice what you will do if these upheavals reach your house. Practice, especially of you can make a game out of it with your family, takes some of the scariness out of it. They will be better prepared mentally if you have practiced before hand.
It won’t be so scary if your children know where the safe room is and how to use it. Knowing where you family is supposed to meet after a natural disaster, and who to call, can give them the tools they can use to be confident and proactive. Practice, practice, practice.
Talk about it with you family and friends. What are you preparing for and why? If your significant others know the reason, they are mush more likely to join in – or at least not criticize. Talk, talk, talk.
We are also a member of our communities and social groups. No man can stand alone. Form alliances with your family and friends. Join together for group buying and share knowledge with each other. When things go bad you will have a support system in place to lean on. That support system will be invaluable in your quest for mental preparedness.
And finally I would say that spirituality matters. Lean on your Higher Power for direction and comfort while you prepare and for direction and comfort when you’ve done all you can. In the end, all we really have is our relationship with God to get us through these trying times.