I pondered writing this article because I absolutely do not want this to come across as a “hey look at me” moment. Yet I think if we can examine what happened today it will shed light on what I believe is another slice of the proper prepper mentality: the good Samaritan role…something I do not excel at but am constantly trying to improve upon.
Allow me to toss in a clarification paragraph before relating my story, in that there are two sides to this assertion: that being the PRE and POST SHTF role of the prepper good Samaritan. Pre SHTF when times are good is one thing, post SHTF when everything could be in short supply would demand a tighter hold on things and extreme justification of action (especially if one’s own family is at risk). Heck I’ve even written articles which borderline endorse taking necessary items after SHTF if the circumstances are right and absolutely all other options are off the table. It’s all dictated by METT-TC, for now I won’t overthink this and get right into it.
I was to meet my wife at the supermarket this evening, she was going to grab some supplies to cook one of her fantastic dinners. These are one of those dinners where you can smell the aroma of the food and it’s like oh my….delicious is right around the corner! I got to the supermarket first but as I was pulling into the lot I saw a family of 4 standing on the corner holding a sign which had something about money needed for food on it. This struck me as strange, while I don’t live in what I would consider an upscale area sights like this are very uncommon. That combined with the fact that the whole family was sitting there which included two small boys. Not exactly the “crackhead begging for cash” situation, it weighed heavily on my mind as I parked and entered the store.
My wife linked up with me in the store about 10 minutes later, the first thing she mentioned was the family standing on the corner. At that point I knew I had to do something so I excused myself and went outside to assess the situation. I knew that if this was legit there was absolutely no way I could in good conscience drive away and leave an entire family in need.
I approached the family on foot, they appeared to be foreign and my initial instinct was middle eastern although the woman did not dress in this manner. I introduced myself and tried to start a conversation there on the busy street corner. The man said that they were from Romania and on their way to California and in need of food, he pointed to their old beater minivan (with Cali tags) and indicated it was theirs. I took a look at the wife and two boys who were now sitting in the grass and knew that I had to take this at face value and do something about it.
Language barrier aside I had them follow me into the supermarket, pulled a cart out and gave it to them. I spoke and motioned with my hands while indicating that they should go shopping and that I would pay for everything. They nodded and went about their way and I went to find my wife to make sure she didn’t forget the COFFEE.
I linked up with the family at the other side of the supermarket and knew that their story was legit. What was in the cart? Lots of bread, sandwich meat, various cheeses, a balloon for one of their boys. This was a family clearly on the road and one who did not want to take advantage of me and for that I was thankful. We checked out and I think the total was around $70, I selected the debit option and pulled out another $40 and gave it to the husband because I figure he might need gas. They thanked me over and over again, I told them no problem and wished them good luck…and that was that.
Once again please don’t take this as me tooting my own horn, believe me when I write that I’m no perfect person and I honestly know that many of you would have done the same thing. I felt compelled to do this for those people, not because I was seeking anything in return but because it just seemed like the right thing to do. I’m not sure what will happen if SHTF but as preppers we are likely to be in a situation where we are able to help those in need much like how I helped that family. Now this doesn’t mean that I line the entire neighborhood up and disperse MY family’s supply of storage food just because I’m a nice guy, absolutely NOT. Yet I think we have to keep some form of positive intent in our minds, that willingness to be someone’s helping hand if needed and if only briefly. My efforts surely did help the family but only for a few days at best, yet I feel like I was able to fulfill my part…one that was placed in front of me and I recognized (as opposed to the potentially hundreds of people who drove by that family before I got there).
The Bottom Line
For me being a prepper means being both ends of the spectrum: I can be kind, helpful and more than willing to give someone the shirt off of my back. Yet if tested I will flip the blinders down and become the epitome of ruthless and calculating, especially if my own family is involved. I’m not perfect but I can tell you that when presented with the right set of circumstances I think it only serves us right to remember that being a good Samaritan is something we need to hold ourselves to…if only because it seems like the right thing to do.