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Choosing Your “Ride or Die” Squad

Over the centuries, one constant has always remained, and even to this day, that is change. Weather, economics, and politics, our existence is based on the changing tides of time. What we face today, although it may seem troubling in entirely new ways, indicates what we’ve always faced. So, how does one go about picking their apocalypse friends? The group of friends who are capable of weathering any storm, even the collapse of mankind.

One could argue that’s how things have always been; we now have greater access to information. With that in mind, a solid group of people you are integral to has become more than a passing interest. It’s now a necessity. In the age of information, it’s no longer what you know. It’s whom you know that gives power and meaning. Surrounding yourself with others who are compassionate, reliable, honest, and positive can help you through life’s hardships.

(Photo by AfterAction Photography)

Finding Your Apocalypse Friends

A healthy dose of introspection needs to happen as a first step to finding the right people in your life. Are you a good person? Not as in, do you follow the Golden Rule; are you someone who can be counted on and trusted when things get hard? Do you exhibit qualities others want to emulate? Are you comfortable consistently putting the needs of others before your own when it matters? 

A person’s quality is measured through the answers to these questions coupled with the action of living them out. 

Man In The Mirror

In the insanity of 2020, one thing was made abundantly clear: we are a communal species, so extended periods of isolation are unhealthy. The overarching theme in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman makes it a fantastic read to put this all into context. Loss of identity and man’s inability to accept change is dangerous. 

Now that the world is heading back towards normalcy, it’s prime time to reevaluate what’s essential in your life. Has the status quo done well for you? Has the way you’ve been conducting yourself for years given you the fulfillment you want? Or is this the perfect opportunity to step forward and see something beyond yourself? Being a worthy friend begins with a profound understanding of humility and the desire to be selfless.

Got To Have Grit

Now, not all friends come as you think they will. They come in all shapes and sizes! For example, let’s look at the recruitment processes of some of the most elite military and law enforcement units in the world. A recurring theme in these processes is using stress to bring out the truest characters of their candidates. Well, it’s no different when choosing your apocalypse friends.

Then, the group decides whether that person is meant to be one of them or will be cut. From a sociological and psychological standpoint, there are several reasons why this methodology works. There’s also no physically “perfect” answer to what these men and women look like. Yes, they must meet physical standards, which is a positive stressor. But there’s no height, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic standards. 

If you cut, you cut. Being open to seeing people for whom they are based on their actions, not their physical qualities, is a powerful choice. It opens opportunities you might not have been able to perceive before. Also, be honest internally. You must also be able to meet whatever standards you ask of anyone else. Never ask someone to do something you’re unwilling or unable to do yourself.

Possessing a knowledge base of agriculture and farming can come in real handy in the apocalypse.
(Photo by AfterAction Photography)

Build A Solid Core

There is an ongoing temptation to build a massive group of people around you. We live in a society based on social acceptance. Neotribalism is an interesting concept that applies here. Simply put, we started in highly functional tribes of 16 to 20 members, interdependent upon each other for survival. Agriculture, and later the Industrial Revolution, changed that. We moved primarily to large cities, concentrating the population. In the wake of the past couple of years, we’ve seen a surge of people looking to leave those concrete behemoths.

Neotribalism is the resurgence of tribes within large groups of humans. Recently, this behavior has been painted as profoundly negative. In favor of “The Message,” as we’ll refer to it, Neotribalism is the opposite. It is the definition of small-group individualism and free-thinking. “The Message” wants us to all agree on a narrow view of the world, whereas Neotriablism says that we choose our path within our chosen small group. 

That is also a uniquely American way of thinking. As this seemingly crushing monster, “The Message,” seems to encompass everything we see and hear, falling back to a core group of quality people becomes infinitely more important.

Seek And Connect with People

Now, the question is where these unique people reside. When people surround us, they should be everywhere. This is only true in a small part. They are all around us, but we are so fundamentally separated from each other regarding real human interaction that they are seemingly impossible to find. 

The solution here is to return to the roots of how humans thrive. As mentioned, stress is a great way to sort through a person’s character. To that end, it’s time to stress yourself a bit. Get out of the domicile and do something! Join a kickball or volleyball team (drunk or sober), try out geocaching, join a book club, find an urban garden, start volunteering at a homeless shelter, and participate. 

These are where you find the best people—where there is something to be done, a challenge to overcome, or a game to win. Go to somewhere where your participation and contributions are valued, where you become essential to a positive outcome. This is how you find your people; the ones that overcome the worst will be there, and you can count on them unequivocally. 

The Glue

Lastly, when times get the hardest, as Ernest Shackleton, the Arctic explorer, so eloquently put it, “The trappings of civilization are soon cast aside in the face of stern realities, and given the barest opportunity of winning food and shelter, man can live and even find his laughter ringing true.” 

You must be able to laugh with your people! Raucous, uncontrollable laughter, tears, and a sore stomach the next day. In times of genuine hardship, laughter is a balm for all that ails and seeks to end you. There’s a reason that those with the hardest jobs tend to have the darkest sense of humor. It’s a way to cope and handle what seems impossible. Laughter binds us all together.

Build a bugout bag worthy enough to carry in apocalyptic times.
(Photo by iStock)

Til’ the End

If you’re reading this, you know you need more in life. You want those Apocalypse-worthy friends and choose to believe they’re out there. Here’s a tip. As part of your preparation, please don’t wait to find them. Take the initiative and do it now. Because when that day comes, they will be there for you. But if that day comes, and they aren’t already there, they never will be. It’s up to you. And wouldn’t it be a shame if you’re stuck, alone, when that day comes and realize you missed stocking up on the most important thing?

If you enjoyed this article, then it’s time to make a bugout bag: Apocalypse Bugout Bag

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