A Woman's Perspective On The Times We Live In


July 31, 2012

Community and Knowledge Elevates Us All

     I have expressed my opinion in the past that I see a widening gap between those who want to broaden their knowledge about the state of our world, and those who want to escape the mounting tension by pretending that everything is business as usual.  The latter continues to occupy the majority of their time with shopping, eating out, Facebook, texting, watching reality TV shows, the mall, and any activity that will avoid taking steps to alter their state of preparedness.  The former are no longer satisfied with these mundane pastimes that our culture promotes.  Their reality is so markedly different from their fellow Americans, that they sometimes feel they reside in a parallel universe.
     Because of this growing contrast, I see a budding subculture within temporal America; one that is hungry to learn new skills and explore unfamiliar territory.  Take for instance a class that I and Peace-Loving Warrior will be attending in August.  Trained medics are going to conduct a one-day class for those interested in knowing how to treat acute trauma.  The methods they will teach us are used on the battlefield, but in today's world, our everyday experience can turn in to a battlefield.  For instance, when we do our self-defense training at our local range, we are surrounded by people with guns and live ammunition.  Although we are trained by highly professional people and have never encountered an accidental discharge, that doesn't mean that it can't or won't happen.  In cases of gunshot wounds, or knife wounds, or a slip of the ax when chopping firewood, most injuries fall into one of three leading preventable causes of death:   hemorrhaging of an extremity, tension pneumothorax (collapsed lung), or airway obstruction.   It is possible that you will encounter all three in the event of a natural disaster, civil unrest or terrorist activity.  Would you be able to successfully treat such an injury?
      I am part of a community that recognizes we will not be able to count on anyone coming to our rescue, should any of the above scenarios occur.  We don't want to take the chance that a loved one suffers due to our lack of knowledge.  So we took the initiative and decided we would learn what we could effectively do to give proper medical care within our limited scope.  We contacted professional EMTs who were also trained as medics in the military, and set up our own Continuing Education course.  After this training, the medical experts will recommend a "blowout kit" that we can keep on hand should we ever face any of these situations.  This is a medical kit designed to treat life threatening wounds in the field until a higher echelon of medical care can be attained.  Bottom line?  After this training, we might be able to save a life within our community.  Without it, the chances decline sharply for anyone severely injured.  But the point I want to make is this .... we decided what we needed to know and we set about gaining that knowledge.
     And I have another friend who signed herself and her two sons up for an extensive course in recognizing and harvesting native plants for both medicinal and food supplies.   She homeschools her children and saw this as an opportunity to enhance their education.  But she also realizes that any number of crisis scenarios will greatly limit our access to medicines.  Therefore recognizing that the agarita bush in our part of the Southwest is effective as an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-protozoal is valuable knowledge.  It's berries are also edible, and make a delicious jelly.
     She has also learned that the berries of the much-maligned cedar tree are an effective diuretic, and useful in treatment of urinary tract infections as a urinary antiseptic. They must be taken in small doses, and caution must be used, as they are very potent and can become toxic over time.  Juniper berries are also used as a flavoring for meat marinade in some recipes, and contain vitamin C.  The needles can be used in steam-inhalation therapy as part of an herbal formula that helps open upper respiratory tract and clear mucous during a chest or head cold, or flu.  Learning to recognize wild persimmons, onions and desert yaupon as food sources could soon be useful information.
     I point out these two educational classes as prime examples of a new "awareness" among a certain segment of Americans.  We instinctively realize that the existence we've taken for granted may soon change --- and we must be able to adapt and adjust.  By expanding our areas of expertise, we not only give ourselves, but the communities we may find ourselves a part of, a chance to survive and flourish.  We are enlarging our "territory", so to speak --- not limiting ourselves to a subservient role in society, but making ourselves responsible for our own care and protection.  When society breaks down, we don't intend to sit idly by, waiting for some outside agency to come to our aid.  We want to be as mentally and practically knowledgable and prepared as possible.
     So if there is an area of preparedness that you feel you are lacking in, what are you waiting for?  Contact an expert, set up a day for training, invite others and expand your knowledge.  God gave us a brain and an instinct for survival.  How did both of these become so stagnant in this generation of Americans?
   
Proverbs 1:5     "let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—"

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