Throughout my travels in and around the prepping sphere, I have noticed that there is a curious or perhaps not so curious sentiment among folks that are not preppers themselves concerning our collective outlook.
These people seem to think, based on depiction or interactions, that preppers are akin to an apocalyptic cult, at worst, or positively excited at the prospect of a global catastrophe at best. This certainly does nothing to spread the good word and decidedly positive practice of prepping to a new generation. But could this notion be true?
Do preppers really want the world to end? Overwhelmingly, no, though as always edge cases exist and only serve to provide a false positive contrary to the rule. The vast majority of preppers are normal, well-adjusted people who only want to be able to provide for their families and themselves in extremis.
Since prepping is a lifestyle change and a major investment of time, resources, and energy, many preppers are eager to discuss their undertakings and activities with their associates, even if they do not share the same lifestyle.
This enthusiasm over a nominally grim topic has given rise to the sentiment that preppers are eager for the end of the world.
Naturally, there’s a lot more to consider on this topic and, of course, I have a lot more to say about it. Keep reading to get the full story.
Enthusiasm for the Results, Not the Reason
Factors I believe that are responsible for the verbosity of preppers who are hard-chargers are the excitement, even enthusiasm, they feel for the results of their efforts. This produces a sort of “feel-good” high that they, understandably, want to share with friends, family and acquaintances.
It seems odd when you think about it: someone could be excited about getting prepared for really terrible things to happen! In fact, that sounds like a bit of a bummer, doesn’t it? Isn’t that sort of a wet blanket topic? Why would anyone want to share that?
Well, let us consider the endeavors of a typical prepper who is taking a sort of all-around or holistic approach to being more prepared.
It is a virtual certainty that this person will be learning new skills, from camping and land navigation to self-sufficiency in repairs, and even taking on self-defense training.
You can believe they will be more physically active, and likely to be spending significantly more time outdoors. These are all interesting, even exciting, and mood-boosting undertakings.
Furthermore, becoming a better and more capable version of yourself is typically a good way to get pumped up and excited about the future. In this case, it is understandable how a prepper sort of forgets about the ultimate objective by focusing on their work, however enjoyable it might be.
When someone feels good, is excited and has a general error of enthusiasm and positivity about them, they naturally want to share this with those around them, and in any other context it will be worthy of sympathetic nods and even affirmation.
However, once the listener learns why the speaker is doing what they are doing, it jars them.
Why should this lead to a negative opinion of what our ultimately wholesome and admirable activities, undertaken for whatever reason? I don’t have an answer for that, reader.
The cynic might say it is because the listener understands or remembers in that moment how unprepared they are, and resents the speaker for surpassing them. A more circumspect person might say that the listener is simply unsettled by the prospect, or reading the speaker wrong.
A Desire to be Tested?
In any sector, considering any skill, most folks who have studied long, trained hard, and spent countless hours in practice usually have a yearning to employ those skills “for real”.
In the case of some skills that revolve around bad things happening, this can create sort of a conundrum for the individual that has spent and invested so much in honing those skills: most certainly do not want anything bad to happen, much less something bad that will affect the lives of other people, but that itch to prove themselves will remain.
The longer that these folks go on without a moment on the proving grounds, so to speak, the worse that itch becomes.
Pretty soon, doubt and self-flagellation begin to set in. However skilled they might be in the “box”, in the classroom or on the range they won’t ever know if they legitimately have what it takes, if they measure up or fail to meet the bar.
Everybody wants their chance to meet the standard and pass the test. Being denied this opportunity is certainly a cause for agitation.
Sometimes, this eagerness or yearning to prove themselves can override or sublimate a person’s better sense and view of things. Their desire is completely understandable, but at what cost would they take the test?
Especially considering how unlikely it is that someone will be placed in a truly catastrophic, long-term survival scenario resulting from natural phenomena or man-made circumstances, most will eventually come to realize that their trial is one of constant readiness and refinement; that fateful day will hopefully never come.
Nonetheless, to an outsider looking in who lacks the total context it can seem as if this person is eager for a disaster to happen, or a crisis to occur. This is seen as a sort of macabre bloodthirstiness.
The Bitter or Resentful May Truly Want a Paradigm Shift
However, there are some preppers out there who definitely do want the end of the world, or at least the end of the world as we know it, to occur.
Usually this results from bitterness about the way “things” are going: Who is leading the country and the world, cultural changes, the collapse or reconfiguring of long-held value systems, existential crises involving populations, weather and more.
For these peppers, they see the end of the world as The Great Reset, in the most literal sense of the term or something of a corrective measure that will eliminate the decadent and haughty inhabitants of the tottering empires of men prior to reverting human civilization to a more primitive but pure and, in their eyes, better state of existence.
These people see prepping as a means to an end, a way to ensure they are ready to partake of the earth made clean, and finally ascend into their truest state of self, one where they, as something of a survival ubermensch if only in their mind, will finally have things their way well the lazy, listless thieves and grifters of the world get their just comeuppance.
Perhaps this attitude is the stuff of fantasy, or perhaps not. Who can truly say what resides at the site of a man’s heart? All I know is that these people are rare, extremely rare, compared to the bulk of prepperdom at large.
And mercifully so, I say, as I would hate to think that many of our fellows were so bitter, so cruel and so cynical as to think that mass death and the wholesale destruction of civilizations and the legacies thereof is necessary for them to see the change that they would have in the world.
As a rule, preppers of all stripes do not want to see the world come to an end. They don’t even want to see anything bad happen to it or the people that occupy it.
What some outsiders see as enthusiasm for the inevitable cataclysm to come, it is actually innocent excitement over learning new skills and embarking on a lifestyle change that is rewarding and fulfilling, whatever the reasons it was undertaken.
Though there are a few misguided or plainly mean misanthropes sprinkled throughout, the same can be said for any large group that shares similar interests.