Minimalist Survival: Fear vs. Peace

Fear and peace can cause people to live completely different lives. Let's learn how fear and peace can affect you in emergency situations.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fear as "an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger."

Fear causes people to think and act in irrational ways. It causes many problems. I believe the only good that comes from fear is not getting so confident or prideful that you do something stupid, like causing an unnecessary fight or war. It's easy to get caught up in fear thinking it's "wisdom" to prepare for all these doomsday theories people have. It's like a rabbit trail, following one article after the other, spreading "what if's" causing us to panic and do irrational things like spend all your money on junk products, or on things you will never need.

The problem with fear is it doesn't just affect you. Oftentimes it affects your whole family. I served two tours in Iraq, crossing the wire on a daily basis. I came home with a lot of fear. I used to come home a lot later than expected, so my wife would ask me what took so long. I was paranoid and thought people were trying to kill me by planting bombs underneath my car. So I would search my car, crawl underneath it making sure nothing was there. Guess what, there was never a bomb. I would also think people were following me, so I would take long detours away from my house so they didn't know where I lived. She would always laugh when I told her, but my behavior actually started rubbing off on her. She became paranoid and fearful as well.

I couldn't even enjoy a sermon at church without planning how I would stab someone because I thought they had a gun. Same goes with college. Many times I had my hand on my knife planning how I was going to jump over the desk to stab the guy because I thought he was a terrorist. How many times do you think any of these people attacked me? Zero times. All of that worry and anxiety was for nothing. All of that stress caused many unnecessary arguments between my wife and I.

All of this fear and anxiety made it so I couldn't think clearly or function normally. You can see how I was severely altered in my day to day life. I couldn't be in a grocery store for longer than 10 minutes. You can't make wise and informed choices shopping in under 10 minutes. I won't get into it here, but I have been delivered of this fear and now walk in peace. Which is why I can share how to prepare the right way.


Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines peace as "freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions."

In the Marine Corps we had a saying "slow is smooth and smooth is fast." This means if you rush into something you will probably screw it up. If you go slow and smooth it will end up a lot faster and more efficient than rushing it. We used this when training to clear rooms and with magazine changes. It works especially well with magazine changes because if you are all stressed out and are quickly trying to jam a magazine into the rifle, you will most likely miss. When in a combat or survival situation, you can't afford to miss.

This is where peace fits in. You are more likely to be successful when you are operating in a mindset of peace rather than of fear and anxiety. Picture yourself in the cold with wet wood and a Ferro rod trying to start a fire when you had no food or sleep in an emergency situation. It's hard to start a fire in that environment anyway, but do you think you would be more successful if you had a clear mind, were going slow, and able to plan every step? It would be much easier if you had a clear mind versus a panicked and fearful frame of mind. The same goes for almost any activity you do.

Operating out of peace gives you an advantage in almost any activity, including daily life. It also helps you achieve happiness. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? We are preparing so we can maintain a certain comfort level in case an emergency happens. Comfort can help us be happy, but even if we had all the comfort in the world, you still might not be happy. I urge you to find out what brings you fear and what brings you peace. What makes you happy, even if the whole world fell apart. Find out what brings you peace and happiness and invest in that. Either do the opposite of what brings you fear or change your thinking so you can have peace.

How can a man with nothing more than the clothes on his back have peace and a billionaire with all the luxuries he could ever want be living in fear? The difference is in the mind. Just like the farmer sows seeds of carrots to reap carrots, the man who sows fear and worry, will reap fear and worry. Same goes for peace. Find what brings you peace and sow into that. If you are going to prepare for emergencies, start preparing in peace so that if an emergency does occur, you are at least set up to use your equipment in peace. If you don't operate out of peace now, how can you in an emergency situation? Find peace and practice living in it.

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