Pandemics, Civil unrest, Economic Collapse, Civil War, World War 3, Environmental Collapse…
These are looming threats that we currently face, or will soon confront.
“Survivalism” is the minimal goal of all organisms. It is the lowest possible grade to pass the tests of life.
I am not a mere survivalist.
I am a sur-THRIVE-alist.
I not only intend to merely survive any of the above apocalypse scenarios, I intend to thrive before, during, and after them. I also intend for my loved ones and community to do the same.
As with all things in life, nature is the best teacher.
Imagine our society as a forest, and we are all plants and seeds.
A large forest fire is an apparent apocalypse from the perspective of the trees and other plants who cannot run away. Most life is decimated...
However, there are some special plants known as “Pyrophytic”. Some of these plants have “Fire-activated Seeds” which can germinate particularly well after having first gone through a forest fire. The charred ashen post apocalyptic landscape offers the unique soil chemistry for these seeds to germinate. The seedlings will have no competition, they thrive due to the disaster.
These seeds cannot be described as merely “fragile” to the fire… All of the fragile ones died.
These seeds cannot be described as merely “resilient” to the fire… resilient would describe a tree whose bark acts as insulation to resist the heat of the fire. A resilient tree will survive, but not unscathed. The leaves will need to regrow.
These Fire-activated seeds are different. They do not resist the fire, they embrace it. They use it to become more than they could otherwise.
The seeds are not fragile or resilient, they are anti-fragile. The exact polar opposite of fragile. They get better when the situation gets worse. They experience opportunity in the midst of disaster.
“The problem is the solution”
Another example would be the hated plant species that our prejudiced society labels as “weeds” These weedy plants tend to thrive in areas where non-weedy plants struggle.
Weedy plants thrive in places that have been damaged or disturbed, often by human activity.
Soil compacted by wheels, denuded dusty land, overgrazed pasture, erosion, etc…
From a plant perspective, these are all mini-apocalypses. Many plants cannot survive these harsh environments. But some thrive. Society labels them “weeds” because we even have a hard time intentionally getting rid of them.
But these plants perform a vital role in the ecosystem, they spearhead the return of the forest. That’s why they’re sometimes more affectionately called “pioneer plants” by those who are enlightened to these plant’s true nature.
Weedy plants break compacted soil, accumulate nutrients into soil that is deficient in those nutrients, reduce erosion with their root structure, and eventually sacrifice their dead bodies to be eaten by future generations… In short, they pave the way for the next generation of plants, many of whom could not have survived without the reparative functions of these so-called weed seeds.
What life lessons can be taken from these weedy seeds and fire-activated seeds?
Back to the “human” world.
Covid-19 has accelerated many pre-existing societal trends.
Streaming services were already on the rise, they have now spiked.
Movie theaters were already on the decline, they have now plummeted.
Homeschooling was increasing before, but now that families have been forced to try it, many will realize the obvious benefits and will never go back to “conventional” school again.
Remote working was already technically possible, but now everyone who can work from home is working from home, myself included. I know that I prefer working from home, and would continue to do so indefinitely. I’m sure tens of thousands of workers would agree.
We have been moving toward a “cashless society” for some time, and that trend has accelerated. I barely used cash before, and now with the risk of passing around cash as a vector for covid infection, cash usage will decline even faster.
I still have to meditate on what opportunities are hidden in the disasters that surround me.
The problem is the solution.
Follow the Tao of weedy seeds.