I don't care how good you are, there are things you can't do or overcome on your own. It might be age, it might be circumstances, and it might just be bad timing... but at some point you will need other folks... human assets and resources beyond your own capabilities.
You see, I've been a prepper before I ever knew what the term meant... it's just the way a lot of country and farmin' folks are raised, but often folks who want to discuss prepping, survival, self-defense, and related matters typically want to focus on things or themselves rather than on others. That's one area where many small town and country folks still have an advantage... they already know it's tough to make it on your own and they recognize the importance of others, of friendships, of neighbors, of community.
If you haven't done so already, I want to encourage you to look at your life, your circumstances, your location, and other factors... do you have good, strong friendships, partners, human assets and networks in place? Let me encourage you to evaluate and strengthen some areas that could prove to be vital, even critical, for when you can't make it on your own.
FAMILY & FRIENDS
Are your building your family, or letting it slowly fall into dis-repair? Some folks have strong immediate and extended families with deep relationships and support, while others couldn't count on their family to show up unless they had a winning lottery ticket they just cashed in. I'm blessed with a terrific wife who does more for me than I deserve... we are a team, a partnership. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses... and we compliment each other very well. I know some guys who treat their trucks better than their wives, but a truck won't have your back during a home invasion or when you can't physically lift yourself out of bed for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, we don't have any extended family in the area as the closest are over three hours away. How strong is your family? How good are your friends? How good of a friend are you?
Are you a good neighbor? Do you have good neighbors? Do you even know who your neighbors are? We have good neighbors and we try to be good neighbors. Those relationships are important to us and some of our best friends are our neighbors. I'm amazed at a lot of folks in town and especially in the suburbs and cities that barely know the neighbors they live fifty, even five, feet from... yet out here in the country, we know most all our neighbors for a mile 'round. And that can be especially handy when dealing with two-legged varmints that are dumb enough to come around here. How are your neighbors?
Are you active in your community? Do you even have a definable community? That's an easier question for many small town and country folks to answer than a lot of city dwellers. Our community is far less fluid than a lot of suburbs, cities, and McMansion-villes. Communities can offer a lot to folks, especially those who offer something to their community. How's your community?
Are you building strong networks? We are blessed with great networks through our school district, community, workplace, 4H, shooting sports, the gun club, fellow shooting instructors, a group of like-minded preppers, and especially our church. We even have a good network developing in the blogosphere, but that is not always as practical as folks in networks of close geographical proximity.
GIVERS & TAKERS
Quality human assets, or good folks as we call 'em, are probably one of the most valuable things you can develop and obtain. They are a force multiplier that can not be duplicated by "things". Good folks are givers... and you need to be a giver too, not a taker. I think that if you find yourself lacking in human collateral, you may want to consider your role as a giver or a taker... get involved, give of your self and your time... and avoid groups comprised mostly of takers. That doesn't mean you can't be on the receiving end once in a while, but you'll find that if you're a giver and contributing to others... that will never be a problem.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
This may be a topic of little concern to you... but take some time and reflect on your life and your situation... maybe you're focused on paying off all your debt, stocking up more ammunition and firearms than a small country, storing away enough food and supplies to keep you well-cared for until you're a hundred and six years old... or maybe you haven't done a thing, you're hoping 911 works when you dial it... you're too busy with nine traveling sports teams with your kids... you're too rushed to even stop and help a stranger that's lived next door to you for six years...
Just remember this... folks can be your biggest force-multiplier 'cause... I guarantee that someday you'll have to wonder who's got your back...
No man (or woman) is an island...