If you prefer to subscribe to my YouTube channel, you'll be notified each time a new video is uploaded. (Approximately 3-4 times/month.)
Preparedness vs. Hoarding
Is there a difference?
During the recent wheat and rice shortages, the
word 'hoarding' became virtually synonymous in mainstream media with anyonewanting to buy food in bulk.Warehouse
stores across the nation were forced to ration purchase amounts of these items
and tempers flared as supplies dwindled and prices soared.
As expected, those
who were preparedness minded began to be accused of 'hoarding' food and the
insinuation of extreme selfishness and mental instability lay within the
undertones of that accusation.
If you are one who believes you should stock your food
pantry to contain six months to a year's worth of edible items on hand, have
you been accused of 'hoarding' by anyone?By those close to you that don't understand?
The false perceptions from the accusations of years ago
still haunt those who are trying to build for their future. To stand firm in
our convictions and help educate those who are guided by culture rather than
fact, we must debunk the skewed outlook that has tainted a portion of the
To clear up this inaccurate perception that prepping is
hoarding one must first look at the original definition of 'hoarding'.According to the definition on Dictionary.com
to hoard is "to accumulate money, food, or the like,
in a hidden or carefully guarded place for
The definition itself does not so much as even
hint at a mental or emotional imbalance or paranoia. Is a bank vault or safety
deposit box any different than a long term pantry?In fact, in the natural realm, hoarding is a
common behavior in many animals at specific times of the year, or as habitual
care for sustenance. Do squirrels not
gather nuts for the winter?
Secondly one must look at the transformation of the word
'hoarder' to how it now seems to carry a negative connotation. Ah, the English
language - it doth ever evolve.With television shows that
depict one who hoards as someone who suffers from far more than the outward evidence
of being 'buried alive' by the collection their possessions - connecting the
word 'hoard' with an illness was simply inevitable.
Lastly, in order to combat and educate the difference
of preparedness vs. hoarding one must look at what the insinuation is and be
ready to defend the differences. What is being depicted as 'hoarding' on
television is in actuality a compulsive behavior not the act of someonerationally planning for the future.Often the compulsive hoarder has experienced some trauma in their life,
has a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), has a genetic disposition
and family history of compulsive hoarding and many other traits that are not
among those who plan and prepare for the future of their families.
Dr. Randy Frost, Professor of Psychology, Smith College, explains OCD here.
Most of us who live the life of preparedness and plan
for future uncertainty do not fall into the same category as a compulsive
hoarder. We would not be able to process
the news and information we hear and see, thus planning for our future
well-being if we were 'hoarders'.
also know that we can't prepare for everything, thus perfectionism is off our
radar as an indicator of that compulsion. If we had intense emotional
attachments to items, how is it we have the thoughts of storing bartering
goods? If we truly were hoarders, we wouldn't be able to even think ofbartering stored items. I will admit to understanding the necessity of not wasting
objects; however, a prepper must make a distinction in priorities due to space,
budget and time. In reality, we do know, some things just have to go.
In no way do I make light of the debilitating struggle
a true compulsive hoarder faces. My heart breaks to think of those trapped in
that cycle. But preppers are not hoarders any more than a compulsive hoarder is
a prepper.So the next time the word
'hoarding' becomes insinuated in your preparedness lifestyle by those less
enlightened, hopefully you'll remember the difference and be assured you've not
gone over the edge.