By Gaye Levy
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
In recent months I have found myself shrugging in disgust as I browse the web and read the latest news headlines. I mumble the words I used to say in the old days, “par for the course”, as I find myself actually becoming complacent while reading the latest stories of government excess, corporate shenanigans, sneaky banksters and Wall Street crooks.
Sometimes I feel as though I am sitting on a deck chair of the Titanic, slowing watching the ship go down. Our elected leaders are out of control and it can feel like, any day now, our society is going to go to heck in a hand basket. I exaggerate a bit but not by much. My perception is that much of what I read is the same news I was reading three years ago. The only difference is that it has been repackaged, rehashed and refreshed. The cast of characters may have changed a bit but the same tactics of oppression and submission have not.
And the point is…?
Lest you think this is another of one Gaye’s rambles, let me get to the point. It is human nature to gloss over the familiar in our search for something new. And if something new is not forthcoming, after a while many of us lose focus, drop what we are doing and move on. And that, in my opinion, is what I see happening not only to myself but to many of my peers.
Stated more simply, we are becoming immune to the quest for truth.
So what do we do? To ignore the plethora of information is not acceptable. To remove ourselves from the search for truth, the end of tyranny and the end of predatory economic policies would mean defeat.
Over and over I ponder this because as much as I write about preparedness, being prepared for a natural disaster is not enough. We must also prepare for an economic collapse, civil unrest and the potential breakdown of our society. Emails and comments on Wake Up World and my website Backdoor Survival lead me to believe that others feel the same as I do.
I am not a wacko or extremist and neither are my readers. We are ordinary folks of all ages who are worried about losing control of our lives to tyranny. Rather than let the bad guys win – and we all know who the bad guys are – we preppers are taking back control, overcoming our fears, storing up food for when the shelves are empty, learning skills and knowledge that will allow us to live a decent if not comfortable life when the lights go out, and establishing relationships with like-minded friends, relatives and neighbors that will help us form sustainable communities and networks if and when the SHTF.
In my own quest to stay focused, I have looked long and hard at my own practices and have come up with a few solutions that, in the short term, have revitalized and re-energized my own pursuit of answers to the questions this 21st century reality asks of us. Perhaps they will be helpful to you, too.
Rekindle Your Quest for Truth
Subscribe to an RSS feed and use an RSS reader to screen for relevant topics.
This has changed my life and given me back hours of time daily. By subscribing to the feeds associated with sites I enjoy, I can quickly scan the titles of articles that interest me and jump directly to them without worrying about the rest. The RSS reader becomes my treasure map making reading – and learning – easy.
The Google reader is gone. I have adopted Feedly.com and am happy with it but there are tons of other RSS readers out there for you to chose from. It takes a while to get the hang of how they work but a couple hours of your time will pay off down the road in terms of efficiency and, as a bonus, portability between devices.
Cut back on email subscriptions or subscribe to weekly or bi-weekly (instead of daily) updates.
As tough as it may be to cut back, that is what I decided to do and it has helped immensely. Reading email is a rat hole for time. I normally get over 100 emails a day in addition to newsletter subscriptions so cutting back on the 50 or so newsletter emails I was getting every day was a dramatic step. I now subscribe to a dozen newsletters that I consider the best of the best.
Many newsletters, including my own, provide an option for weekly instead of daily updates. Consider making the switch and see how it works out for you. You still get the news you want, only less frequently and in a digest format.
Find a maximum of three news hubs and follow them religiously.
Being a news junkie is all fine and good but to be honest, even the most ardent of news junkies will burn themselves out. After a while, you are going to realize that the same information is appearing in multiple locations and that you are spinning your wheels going from one place to another then back again.
Everyone has their own tastes and their own style. Find a maximum of three news hubs you trust, and follow them religiously.
Limit your time on forums to 30 minutes a day.
Face it. Spending time on forums is fun. You make a lot of virtual friends and share thoughts and ideas with like-minded people (or otherwise). As fun as it is, however, you begin to have a virtual life separate for the here and now. Limiting the time you spend on forums will bring you back in to real-world reality and give you some precious time to step outdoors, work in the garden, walk the dog or simply enjoy a sunset.
Maximize your time online by looking for the facts behind the headlines.
Select a website or two that will allow you to look at the facts behind the headlines. My favorites include the Economic Collapse Blog, the End of the American Dream, and the Truth Wins. What I like about these sites is that they are well documented with links to the underlying story or report.
Of course I would be remiss if I did not also mention my friend, George Ure’s Urban Survival site. What can I say? It is news in a wrapper of wit and wry humor. And the ‘coping’ section is often a hoot in itself.
Step back from your prepping activities for a week or two and re-assess what it is you are preparing for.
Do you remember why you started to prepare? Why not take a week or two and re-assess why you are prepping. Re-evaluate the risks of a natural disaster in your own geographical area and ask yourself if you’re prepared for those risks.
After doing that, make your own personal assessment of how you feel about the realistic possibility and probability of an economic collapse or man-made disaster, such as a nuclear accident, pandemic or other emergent crisis.
Remember, businesses and insurance companies use the term risk management to describe “the identification, analysis, assessment, control, and avoidance, minimization, or elimination of unacceptable risks”. The same applies to preparedness. It only makes sense to prepare for those things that are most likely to happen to you and your family.
Be discerning as you read. Is this credible? Who wrote it? Was the goal to generate fear so that you will buy stuff?
Anyone can post anything to the internet – and they do. Always consider the source of the article and come to a reasonable judgment relative to its credibility. Is the author named or was the article created by an anonymous off-shore article factory? Does the article incite feelings of extreme fear and hopelessness with the intent of scaring you into making a purchase?
Of all of these tips, this may be the most difficult. There is nothing wrong with a website or blog trying to sell you something. That is how they are able to keep the lights on and offer information to you that is free for the taking. Just be careful with your wallet when it comes to making purchases based on fear-mongering. There are plenty of high-quality products available to you from websites that do not resort to that time of strong-arm tactic.
The Final Word
Is there a cure for news burnout? I believe there is. Just realize that it takes a bit of work and a bit of pro-activity as you muster up the motivation to keep the activist fire burning.
How about you? Do you have some other ideas that help you stay focused and interested in the quest for truth? Please share them in the comments section so that we all can learn from you.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
More articles by Gaye Levy:
- Using Nature’s Remedies for Health and Wellness
- 20 All Purpose Remedies Using Essential Oils
- The Powerful Healing Qualities of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 15 Alternative Uses for Honey
- Vermiculture: How To Build A Worm Bin the Cheap and Easy Way
- 21 Home Remedies for a Toothache Emergency
- The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival
- Creating a Healing Garden: 9 Healing Herbs You Can Grow Yourself
- A Big Fat List of Essential Oils for Health and Survival
- Essential Oils 101 – How to Apply Essential Oils for Health and Wellness
About Gaye Levy:
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State.
Gaye lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, she speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us. You can find Gaye through her website Backdoor Survival.com, plus Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.