The Boy Scout Motto is “Be Prepared”- good advice for any Southern gentleman on a number of levels. Being prepared starts with mental preparation. You wouldn’t go to a job interview without learning all you can about your prospective employer. You wouldn’t go to work on a project without knowing what is involved, what tools and materials are required, and what the expected completion criteria are. You wouldn’t leave on a trip without knowing the route you are going to take and approximately how long it will take. You wouldn’t go on a fishing trip without knowing what gear would be needed and how to effectively use it.
Preparedness also involves physical preparedness. “Every Day Carry” (EDC) is a common phrase among those who actively practice preparedness.
It used to be common practice for every man to always have a pocket knife in his pocket. It was carried to school, it was carried on commercial airliners, it was carried into the courthouse – everywhere. Somewhere along the way, pocket knives were demonized and became thought of as potential weapons rather than utilitarian tools. At one point in my life, I worked as a substitute teacher in the public schools. I was with some students when I needed to open a box. I pulled out my pocket knife, opened the box, and put it back into my pocket without even thinking about it. The look of horror on their faces and what they said told me that things had changed. It never occurred to me that it might be against the rules to carry a pocket knife. Had I been a student, I probably would have been expelled; had another adult seen it, I probably would have been fired and perhaps arrested. Life had changed. I still carry a pocket knife with me at all times, but there are now places where America’s Nanny State treats me as an irresponsible child who cannot be trusted with sharp objects; I avoid those places whenever possible.
Other items of Every Day Carry would include a clean handkerchief, a pen and something to write on, and the usual wallet, keys, and cell phone. Another item that is a part of being prepared is a small flashlight. With the advent of high quality LED flashlights, one can carry a very powerful flashlight in a very small package. Those using AA or Lithium 123 batteries each have their own advantages; I use both. Being someplace when the lights go out is a very helpless feeling. Don’t let that happen to you. I am amazed at the number of times during the day when I use my flashlight.
Those concerned with being prepared to defend yourself and your family would also add the means to effectively do so. In most cases, that means a handgun and some spare ammunition. Some, because of legal restrictions, would be limited to pepper spray or something similar.
Being prepared also includes another level – preparedness for major disasters. We have an absolute responsibility to care and provide for ourselves and our families at all times. There is no exemption for times when grocery stores are not open or are empty. There is no exemption for situations where there is no electricity. There is no exemption for times when predators roam the streets with no law enforcement to keep the thugs in check. There is no exemption. Period. That means that we, as husbands and fathers and grandfathers and Southern gentlemen have a responsibility to be prepared to meet the challenges of times of crisis. Read, learn, plan, and prepare.
We had a ritual when I was a Boy Scout. The leader would say, “Be Prepared”. We would all shout the reply, “We ARE Prepared!”