Procrastination or Deliberate Stalling Strategy?

Want to stall someone? Invite them to a meeting.Have you ever noticed people, employers, and governments seem to procrastinate instead of act?  For instance, Iran is still far away from coming to an agreement about nuclear weapons, but they keep entering into negotiations.  North Korea has, for sixty years, threatened to attack, continues to make a bit of noise, but still is attempting to negotiate for a unified Korea.  Saddam Hussein stalled and procrastinated for 10 years before something was done about it.

Regardless of what you think about the three situations, one thing is clear.  They all employed stalling measures so they could find a way to get what they wanted.  For Iran, it is to hurry up and come up with a nuclear weapon.  For North Korea, it makes the noise so the South Koreans don’t forget about the North and to promote fear in the south.  For Saddam, it was about gaining control of a larger region.

What do all of these things have in common?   What appears to be procrastination may well be strategic stalling.  Stalling buys time.  Time is an asset everyone wants on his side.   Both Iran and North Korea think time is on their side.  They both believe no one is going to attack them.  No one will, as long as they don’t attack anyone else.  But, the stalling provides time to gather resources, make plans, and prepare for the aftermath of what ever evil deed they plan.

The normal person would not think stalling strategies would not be used much outside the international political arena.  They would be wrong.  Employers use it to avoid paying higher wages and benefits or to decrease number of employees and assets.   A case in point:  Some years ago Starbucks announced that due to the recession and serious economic losses they were closing some of its stores and laying off those employees.  They did this at the same time they opened new stores and hired new employees in other cities.

They waited for the cover of a recession to implement their plan.  No one questioned them about it.  Heck, many other companies were engaging in this same practice.  Simply put, in our opinion, Starbuck’s used the stalling strategy to wait for a time to close less profitable stores.  Large companies which lay off employees take a hit in the public eye.  If their only motive is to make more money when the company as a whole is doing fine, that doesn’t sit well.  The fact that they opened a new store just down the road immediately after closing the other stores speaks volumes.

Everyday people employ the stalling strategy too.  You see it in every day interpersonal relationships.  The boyfriend who procrastinates about getting married.  The woman who stalls getting pregnant.  The high school student who goes to school but does not do his work, thereby stalling his graduation.

Tomorrow:  Interacting with people who use stalling strategies and how it effects preppers.

Preppers, are You Paying Attention?

While many people think preppers are wasting valuable resources when they could buy fancy cars and big screen T.V. sets, Consider the most recent CNN.com headlines:

North Korea sparks crisis over workers from South

How North Korea could trigger war

44 killed in 9-hour firefight at Afghan government buildings

More rockets from Gaza irk Israel

All of them are warning us of impending crises.  Whether it be from Korea, Afghanistan or Gaza, something is about to happen.  Some where.  But, guess what?  That’s par for the course.  Nothing new there.

There has always been war and rumors of war, as so aptly phrased in the Bible.  The question then becomes, “Why do we pay more attention now?”  The answer is simple.  There has never been more likelihood of disaster in the U. S. than now.  We are more likely than ever, according to the U.S. government, to have a dirty bomb placed in one of our metropolitan areas.

As if that weren’t enough, there is a whole barrage of biological and chemical weapons that can be deployed just as easily as nuclear weapons.  Truth be told, not everyone is convinced the West Nile Virus got here by accident.  People have often raised an eyebrow about how some things have entered the U. S. and how they migrate across the country.

The speed in which an epidemic can now spread is astounding.  In centuries past, those things would stop when they reached the limits of human Could the Canterbury Tales be an example of Medieval preppers putting distance between them and disease hot spots?interaction and so the major epidemics remained within cities.  For instance, when the great plague, The Black Death, swept through Europe, people figured out it was carried by the air.  Those who remained in isolated areas and did not interact with travelers were spared.  This is the premise of the Canterbury Tales.

The idea that being separated from society will provide some protection from contact and airborne pathogens has persisted since the 1300’s.  Realistically, it is still true, if it were possible.  Even in remote communities people send their children to public schools and travel to the “big town” down the road for supplies.  The two acts combine to negate the effectiveness of being remote as a method of protection from diseases.

When disaster comes, usually so does disease and suffering.  Cholera is one of the first diseases that strikes.  In Haiti, after the earthquake, 250 people were killed and at least 3,000 infected.  This can be attributed to the loss of fresh water supplies and normal cleanliness.  All sorts of nasties make themselves known in such conditions.  It won’t be any different here if people are not prepared for such natural or man made disasters.

As a prepper, it is your responsibility to provide protection from disease for you and your family.  That means sharing your cleaning products with those you come in contact with after a disaster.  Stop shaking hands with people.  No hugging of people whose habits are not known.  That means pay attention.

Pay attention to people around you.  See what they do.  Do they use hand sanitizer or wash their hands well?  What’s the big deal?  Consider why cosmetic companies put preservatives in their lotions, creams, and powders.  While they are called preservatives, they are really anti-bacterial, anti-fungal agents that kill off the nasty stuff that would otherwise be growing in the containers.

Learning to pay attention now to these little actions of people is a skill that will become more important should a disaster strike and diseases start popping up around you.  Don’t become a germ0phobe.  Just learn to pay attention.