A week or so ago I read a blog post (can’t remember where for the life of me now!) that roughly stated the blog owner was fed up with the word prepper–know that I’m hugely paraphrasing everyone’s comments in this paragraph–in large part because it was being destroyed by the media and public.
He basically said that we should call ourselves “survivalists” because, well, that’s what we all are! The word “prepper” has lost it’s meaning, or something like that. One of the commenter’s then stated that a survivalist was expected to be someone who ran into the woods to survive who knows what, while a prepper was somebody who prepares for life’s challenges with a purpose. I quickly chimed in and agreed with this particular commenter and didn’t think about it again until a few days ago as I watched yet another doomsday [fill in the blank] television show on the coming Mayan apocalypse… I really have to stop doing that.
In this particular show they were throwing the word “prepper” around like it was an everyday word everyone seems to know. Along with other shows like Doomsday Preppers that, though entertaining to me, may be causing the prepping movement more harm than good. In fact, I may have just changed my mind about being called a prepper. While I do strongly align myself with being called a prepper–because that’s what I feel I do and am–I’m afraid that the media (television shows) are giving us a bad name…
…in other words, the word “prepper” is being hijacked and that’s not good news for you or me! We’re being made out to be “crazy,” “radical,” or just plain different, something I’ve always reserved for those… survivalists. ;) Now, I don’t mind being different and sometimes I pride myself as being such, but I don’t want to be singled out either and I definitely don’t want a target on my back.
This in no way means I’m going to stop doing what I do. Not at all. But, maybe a new self-description is in order?
Out of curiosity, let’s define the terms survivalist and prepper real quick (as per a Google definition search):
- Survivalist – someone who tries to insure their personal survival or the survival of their group or nation.
- Prepper – an individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances…
Heck, I can’t argue with either of those definitions! By definition we’re all survivalists, of course. And if you’re reading this blog post then you’re likely a prepper too. I know I am.
So, what does this mean for the future of the word, prepper?
Maybe nothing. I still consider myself a prepper; however, I certainly don’t like the word being associated with the supposed “craziness” that many of these television shows depict. Perhaps it’s an inevitable consequence of being a current fad? Or maybe it’s more than that. I hope so, well, sort of. I don’t like the fact that more and more people feel the overwhelming need to prepare themselves because that means things aren’t good (duh!), but I do like it that more and more people are choosing to rely on themselves rather than the government, corporations, just in time distribution systems, and so on.
Now, back to the question at hand: is there a better term to describe what I am, what I do (and you too)?
Besides making up a whole new word… probably not.
I think we’re going to have to “weather the storm” so-to-speak. And, more importantly, be shining pillars of example to those who have a misunderstanding as a result of television shows like Doomsday Preppers. That should be our duty and priviledge to the world…
…to stand up and be proud to be a prepper!