Have We Lost Our Common Decency?

There were times, not that long ago when people were burdened under hard times.  The times were so difficult that they could barely get food on the table, where shoes were made out of old tires, where friends and family had to bind together.  When a neighbor, friend or family was in need, everyone would pitch in to help. 

I recently read a blog post about how one author believes we have lost the great American value of caring for their neighbor.  Sadly, I see where the author is coming from, as I have heard from other preppers, and read on many different occasions where commenters on blogs and articles would say that when the SHTF, they are not willing to help anyone who comes to them in need; and that those persons should have prepped when they had the chance.  These comments reflect the mentality we have all come to learn over the years.  The mentality of “what’s in it for me,” and “oh well, it’s not my problem.”  Although, helping a person is a personal choice, I tend to agree with the blog post I read about how we are losing our sense of personal values.  The writer writes:

The idea of helping out our fellow man in this struggle we call life appears to be a distant memory.  In the mind of a vast majority of the people in these modern times, caring for anyone other than yourself is more a novelty than an actual thing that happens.  Caring used to be a part of our nature as human beings.  There was a time in the not so distant past that if a neighbor was in need, his community could and would gladly step up and come to his door and offer a hand.  When you would, without a second thought, share the bounties of your garden or your kitchen or your labor.  Not one thought of “what’s in it for me?” or “I don’t have time for this, or “Screw them.”… let them take care of it themselves.

The author goes on to add that:

I fear we have lost most all of these “values” in the troubled times we live in.  We are all so worried about “us” that we have lost the very fabric that once held us together.  Face it.  Most of us can’t even say that we know our neighbors…much less their kid’s names.  We are too involved with “us” to look beyond our own front yards.

When push comes to shove, there may come a time when we, as individuals fall on hard times, and we would all feel blessed if a neighbor came to give us a hand, or help us out of a bind.  Personally speaking, if a long term disaster were to occur, this author believes that helping out a neighbor and showing others how to be more self reliant would be more beneficial than allowing them to starve and be forgotten.  Who knows, perhaps the favor can be repaid one day when hard times fall upon us.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 7th, 2010
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  • Sadly, I do not know my neighbors.  We have a mutual disinterest in getting to know each other.  It may be a detriment to any sort of survival situation, although if it came down to it, I think that our collective lack of preparedness in a survival situation might actually work for us rather than against us.  I have absolutely no evidence to confirm that suspicion, but I have seen that in emergencies people tend to help each other out.  Emergencies can be a great ice breaker.

    I’ve been thinking about WHY people are so reluctant to be friendly with each other.. I think many of us are so crammed in cities/suburbs that we feel uncomfortable with people intruding in what little personal space we have.

  • brian

    it is all conditioning.  silence rules the day.  look to the unspoken.  what people don’t talk about.  and that is your research.  discovery.  un-covering.

  • Have we lost these values?  Absolutely.  I know my neighbors mainly because we’re all distant family.  It’s hard to deny your neighbor when you’re related 3 times over through 3 different branches of kin!

    I once read a fascinating article about our economy and how marketing geniuses strived to create that separation.  The reason: if you don’t know your neighbor, if you’re isolated from your family or community, you won’t borrow a particular item, you’ll go out and buy your own.  Isolation and separation is great for their bottom line.  I don’t know if that’s based on fact; but if it is, it’s frightening.    

  • rachel

    I dont know my neighbors either and dont want to.  What I do know of them makes me lean away from socializing with them.  Should their house catch on fire, im there.  Need a ride to the store or hospital, no problem.  Stop and chat and share personal details I really rather wouldnt, no way.

    After the herd has thinned the quality of the neighbors will go up, then ill be more sociable.

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