What happens when we start preparing for an event we don’t know the exact details of? We fear the worst. Sometimes, it’s warranted. Oftentimes, it’s just ridiculous and stemming from paranoia.
Kristine Phillips, a contributor for The Washington Post, wrote about this very manifestation–though it appealed to both the warranted and ridiculous, each their separate phase of the story.
And honestly, this filled me with a bit of hope. But I’ll leave that for later.
When you think of Doomsday Survivalists, what do you think of?
Before today, I would have pictured some middle-aged, partially deranged folks, living out of a dirt and wooden bunker in the side of a hill. A staircase would go further down into the Earth to reveal a room packed to the brim with canned foods, plastic bags of dried basics, and a lot of jugs of water.
I haven’t seen the inside of Joseph (and the late Phyllis) Badame’s fallout shelter. But according to this article, with pictures of the food-reserve barrels, at least part of my expectation wasn’t wrong. That was about it, though.
They were preparing for a disaster that would happen someday–a word that makes me cringe when I hear it used in regular conversation.
But Joseph, widowed, felt like he was without purpose. And then Hurricane Maria happened. And as paths cross and stuff happens (I’m not going to summarize the entire article, just the points needed for this post. The original piece is a good read though, and you should check that out after you’re done here), he decided to donate his 80–yes, 80– barrels of food, each weighing in around 360 lbs, to Puerto Ricans.
So now to explain why this post filled me with hope.
One person was willing to part with 28,800 lbs of food for the sake of his fellow citizens in their time of need. He gave without hopes of return. By giving freely, he set aside any differences he may have had with them, whether physical, emotional, political, experiential, or whatever else there may be, and sought to help his fellow humans.
Normally, someday is a term used to indicate a never that the speaker doesn’t want to admit.
As in, “someday I’ll own my own business and backpack through Europe and volunteer for Doctors Without Borders and write a successful book and learn programming and sail the ocean and…”
This means, essentially, “If I decide to break from my comfort zone and really live, take my one life in my hand and choose to do what I want rather than what society wants, this is what I’ll do.”
But someday never comes. We get comfortable. We don’t want to give up our luxuries because the other side may not turn out as expected. And what if that happens?
Joseph Badame’s someday did come, although not as he anticipated. He was preparing for an eventual national/ international disaster. He was ready to help his closest friends and family. But his wife passed away, his friends were either too far away or dead, and he didn’t have any kin. That left him alone.
As I have believed for quite some time, helping people without the hopes of a return gift is the best feeling one can have. Knowing that you are perpetuating a human kindness without seeking reward, it’s amazing. It’s something I suggest everyone do, no matter what level of it you can perform. It may be buying lunch for a coworker, it may be doing household chores for a family member without them even knowing until it’s done, it may be volunteering at an animal shelter. It can be simple, or it can be complex. That’s your choice. What you it shouldn’t be is unrealized.
Go live your life. Help people (and animals) that need it. Bring a smile to the face of someone that can, and will, never repay you.
But don’t let it happen someday.