TV, Ice Cubes, and that Fierce Feeling : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread

From the "Y2k Weatherman" mailing list service...

Dear Y2k Weatherman,

In a previous email to you I told about how we experienced some "training" for possible Y2k scenarios while visiting Russia. Since that time we've encountered more and more pastors who are becoming concerned, finally, at this late date. We have been privileged to travel in the ministry, while pastoring a church in Northwest Arkansas, and have talked with many folks this summer from Aruba, West Caribbean, to Muskogee, OK. (Aruba is totally dependent upon imports, they grow none of their own food, not even bananas, so what will happen to them without computer driven ships?)

In our travels we find that even those who are becoming concerned haven't the foggiest idea of how to prepare. We've given literally hundreds of people our email address. We are 100% in agreement with your three steps to preparedness, but a fourth area is concerning us deeply, that is mental preparedness.

In 1979 my husband and two young sons moved from Phoenix to twenty acres in the Ozark Mountains. We turned it into a homestead. We had prepared ourselves spiritually, we were young and physically in good shape, we had good jobs and resources, but it was a lot of hard work. It came as a big surprise to find that we simply were NOT prepared psychologically. It's possible to be "prayed up", but not have the cognitive processes needed to make it through hard times.

I am presently a counseling intern, with a M.Ed., Counseling, and many of my clients are in a state of severe psychological impairment, simply because they can't make necessary adjustments to life's normal transitions. If this expected recession hits, the mental state of our citizens is more frightening to us than even not having food.

Here are some of the things we've learned when facing a big transition, such as a mission field visit, or economic free-fall, (like we had in the 70's):

1. Like you say, spiritual preparedness is first and foremost. Read your Bible, pray, and memorize scriptures, make things right with your family, friends, God. A guilty conscience is the most lethal enemy of all.

2. Practice doing without all of your "favorite" things; those things you use as a crutch; a comfort food, a favorite pillow, a favorite perfume. We know a man who had to have his corn chips and dip every night or he'd go into a rage. People are always surprised by the things they suddenly crave when they have to do without. They panic easily in that state of perceived deprivation, and can become very ugly. Most people in our society are not even aware of the things they use to stay mentally balanced. I'd begin by doing without TV, and ice cubes.

3. Food preparedness is of course essential, like you've been preaching. But also, policies need to be in place before the food is needed. Assignments of duties, chores, goods, services need to be made well in advance of December 1999, be it within groups, families, churches or communities. Organization can keep tempers in check, emotions calm.

4. Pre-arranged communication channels are essential. When our missionaries go to a foreign country they are taught to establish communication lines first and foremost. There is nothing more claustrophobic and defeating than to be isolated.

5. Memorize scripture, poetry, songs, as a way of dealing with the fear, panic, claustrophobia, and depression that you or others might encounter in hard circumstances. We lived three years without electricity. I was shocked to find myself having claustrophobic feelings and anxiety attacks when the sun went down. Although a Christian most of my life, I had to work very hard at not giving in to those fierce feelings.

On one of our trips to Honduras the entire nation had NO electricity, except for small generators. Night was unbelievably black, even in the capitol city. Crime went up, murders were common, and fear choked the city like a huge hand of Goliath. But the Christians did very well. They met around candles and flashlights, sang hymns, quoted Scriptures and told their testimonies of God's grace.

6. Speaking from experience, make sure you know where you will go to the bathroom if utilities are down. Some folks aren't aware that you can flush a toilet by pouring anywhere from 1/2 to a gallon (depends on the style of toilet) into the bowl. Having sufficient bathroom accommodations is essential to personal dignity, even if it's a hole in the backyard.

7. If you know anyone who survived the '29 depression, talk with them and find out everything they remember about it. My mother-in-law was 9 years old, and remembers a great deal of essential things.

8. Read stories, get in touch with the fact that millions of people live right this minute in harsh and severe deprivation. Yet, those same people often find joy and happiness in the simplest of pleasures. Practice doing that now. Appreciate the air, birds, rocks, everything.

9. Develop hobbies, crafts, chores to occupy during times that you might be shut-in due to bad weather. Books can be read and hand-work performed by the light of a single oil lamp, if the wick is trimmed correctly.

I foresee tremendous panic and depression among those who have not stopped to "count the cost". We are a stimulus driven society, and without the stimulus, my fear is that entire communities will become like a bunch of crazed dope addicts looking for a fix of any sort. We pray for you regularly, knowing that you and your wife must have unbelievable schedules. Please take care of yourselves in all of this, have a date, and rest sometimes. Thank you for being willing to "stand in the gap." Our church has prayer meeting on Thurs nights, and you'll also be on their prayer list.

In the Lamb,

Your Friends in the Ozarks

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Y2k Weatherman )1998 by


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-- Bill (, December 24, 1998


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