In the old days, it didn’t matter if one was homesteading a farm, building a town or starting a cattle ranch, survival in the “Wild West” was the name of the game. Ultimately, everyone in that first generation of settlers had to know how to survive and use those survival skills daily.
Those who came along behind had it easier, but that first generation had to depend on their survival skills — or they would not last.
Communities grew out of the need to survive. Mankind realized early on that gathering together gave them the ability to help each other survive. While there were those in the Old West who were loners, many wanted the company of others around, as well as the security of being able to depend on them if there was ever a problem.
By working together in a community, the westerners leaned that they could make their survival tasks easier. One could concentrate on specific needs, in the knowledge that others would be taking care of different needs. They would share with each other, either through bartering, sharing or outright selling.
The lesson is: Community can save you.
Living in hardship, the people of the West were quick to help each other out. When a family was in need, others would gather together to assist. It didn’t matter if it was the loss of a family member or the need to raise a barn; the community was there to help.
This extended to all walks of life. A man drifting through could always count on a meal and a bed, even if the bed was nothing more than the hayloft. Travelers would often pay for this kindness by doing some chores around the homestead, but that was not necessarily expected of them. Those who did were doing so voluntarily.
The lesson here is simple: Help each other out!
In this, the Old West was somewhat different from the modern prepping movement. We tend to think of just taking care of our families, and no more. There is good reason for that, as there is no way that a family can stockpile enough to take care of their whole neighborhood.
But at the same time, a day may come where we need to extend a hand to those who haven’t prepared. In doing so, we will be following in the footsteps of those who settled the land before us.
Always Safe, Always Prepared
*Thanks to Frank; when things get tough, we can combine our forces for a just and common good…each other!
Phil 2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”