Do you know yourself?
I mean REALLY know yourself?
Can you look into a mirror and analyse yourself?
I’m working with SWMBO on this article as we work as a double act each seeing different aspects of the other and everything in general. That and she is a scary judge of a person. A useful trait in survival.
There are a number of theories going about regarding the best survival number or group make up.
- The singleton (preferably with a dog).
Able to move rapidly, responsible for themselves, no debate on decisions, no group rules or group loyalty to follow.
- The Pairing.
By design or necessity. Each looking after the other’s back. Still retaining mobility.
- The unit.
- Military foundation.
Clear defined roles and command structure. Tends to be inflexible, often predictable, lacks spontaneity and inventiveness on the fly, and sometimes too inwardly looking.
- Family orientated.
Will usually follow the hierarchy within the family. Without training they may prefer caution when the opposite is necessary. Tight loyalties may cause sacrifice for others. They will be inflexible (the family first).
- Military foundation.
- The Colony.
Military/security section, social control, religious guidance, and political leadership.
A hierarchy will exist but usually one of command over the minions.
Rules, laws, inflexibility, probably low mobility, and often no spontaneity or individuality. All for the common good sort of thing.
Now I’m a fan of a small compact ‘family’ unit being the best survival make up.
(Family being defined as an established couple, married or not).
It’s simple thinking and based round the idea that a close-knit ‘family’ unit KNOWS:-
- The personal weaknesses and strengths of each person.
Physical capabilities and limitations (like which one is the night owl or is the other only a day walker), any disabilities, medical or dietary considerations.
- If they can work as a team or are they just two individuals walking the same path.
- The personal habits, likes, dislikes, and fears of the other.
- The specialisations and expertise within us (skills, knowledge, practicality, and inventiveness) and how much has been acquired by simple osmosis.
- The thought processes of the other person when problem solving, under stress, angry, scared, or depressed (as your mental state is important in a time of stress)
- The reactions of each person to conditions like excessive heat, cold, dry, wet, thirst and hunger.
- That trust and reliability has been established over time
- Their group and individual standards (personal hygiene, attention to detail, etc)
- If they share the same ethics, morality, and perhaps the same religious preferences and beliefs.
- Their loyalties? That’s a complicated thing when an extended family is factored in.
That would probably be a matter to be decided according to circumstances.
MOST IMPORTANTLY that you can communicate easily and with clarity between each other without misunderstandings.
We knowing that GOOD COMMUNICATION IS VITAL in a time of stress.
So what’s this got to do with anything?
Referring you back to my post survival as a master class in selfishness.
In it I stated:-
Where there are only two sorts to be saved.
1. (And a no brainer), I will save my own first and foremost.
2. Those who are useful to me and my own (aka US) AND CAN CONTRIBUTE.
So what I’m saying here could be more than a little dangerous.
The possibility of taking in a stranger, a friend, or family member into your “group”.
How would you assess them?
Are they a possible ally or foe, asset or liability, compatible with your ‘group’ or not.
If you were faced with that kind of decision, what sort of criteria would you use.
We are talking mainly about compatibility here.
A small unit has to get along with each other.
Lack of trust, conflicting views, or dissimilar values is the quickest way for things to fall apart. All this MAY COME OUT as part of the honeymoon period as the different parties try like mad to get along.
There again it may not.
We both think that someone holding back stuff, be that self or possessions, being secretive as opposed to open, not “melding” into the group, is a sign that the relationship will be ‘brief’.
Anyway after (or even during) the honeymoon comes crunch time.
A stage in time where the newcomer has assessed their ‘worth’ within the group and now wants to sort out where they stand in the pecking order of the group. That could lead to conflict.
The problem of assessment is magnified greatly if it turns into a merging of two groups.
Within those groups the question of responsibility, leadership, and operation will be established and the likelihood of two groups, especially non military based groups , working in the same way is highly unlikely. Each will have good or bad ideas, possibly different priorities and values, but the question of who is right or wrong may cause conflicting opinion and resentment.
So, once again, how would you assess the suitability of a person to join you?
Is it enough that they turn up with a back pack full of goodies and tip them out saying help yourself? Or is their stated skill set so vital that you think you can put up with their “eccentricities”. Are open hands and a winning smile the absolute sign of trust?
Is it a personal thing particular to us?
I’ve said that SWMBO is a scary judge of character yet most of that is intuitive.
Add conversation and the liars or ‘not nice’ usually get found out within minutes.
I’ve often said that such intuition is a female trait, hard-wired in by evolution where assessing the people you meet, in terms of their potential threat to you, was vital.
Only it still is in today’s violent world.
In conclusion we as a couple have discussed whether “WE” would ever let anyone into our ‘unit’. We also discussed whether we would be willing to join someone or another group and yes, it works both ways round.
If we let anyone in it must be by 100% mutual agreement.
That’s something we’ve always worked by, the understanding that if one person has a doubt, THEN DOUBT EXISTS and we may not pursue that particular path without further precaution.
As for joining anyone else? The quick gut reaction answer is NO, we wouldn’t.
Only you should never rule anything out when thinking about survival.