I really like my job for a lot of reasons. One of the perks is the opportunity to meet many great people who work for mutual insurance companies. Mutual insurers, unlike companies that are traded on Wall Street, are owned by their policyholders. Companies like State Farm, USAA, Nationwide Insurance, Liberty Mutual, various Farm Bureau insurance companies around the country and any other insurer with the word "mutual" in their name have a different governance model than other for profit companies. Because they are owned by the people with whom they do business - the policyholder - these companies tend to attract great folks to work for them.
I don't kiss and tell, but I do want to share something that someone who works for one of our member companies said to me today: "My mother always told me that 'when you are average, 50 percent of the population is better than you. So it's good to be unique."
I didn't feel like I needed any affirmation today, and he wasn't making the comment to bolster me, but that's what it did. If you have ever wondered "Does Paul ever think all of this preparing for whatever and blogging about it is a waste of time and resources?", candidly the answer is "yes." Regularly, in fact.
Our nation is filled with good people who work to provide for their families and help others in their time of need. But many of us are very homogeneous in many respects. Their focus is on college and professional sports, celebutainment and reality television. There's nothing wrong with consuming any of these forms of entertainment, but when it becomes a staple in your time diet, it makes you average. It keeps you from exploring things like the news, the arts, personal fitness, skills or hobbies.
Here are a few things you need to know about your fellow countrymen:
- 70% of Americans don't know what the Constitution is. (This article has additional data which may surprise you - like the fact 6% of Americans don't know when Independence Day is.)
- Nearly one third of Americans don't know who the Vice President is.
"According to a study by Michael X. Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, the yearly shifts in civic knowledge since World War II have averaged out to 'slightly under 1 percent.'”
Where am I going with all of this? Remember I started tonight's musings with the idea that when you're average, 50% of the population is better than you. Having said that, don't be average. The men and women who founded our nation were clearly not average. Not all of them were brilliant, or great orators, or great writers, or rich or educated. They simply followed their passions to improve society.
And I guess that's what motivates me in large part to blog about my efforts to balance my preparedness efforts with the desire to live a "normal" life in the suburbs. It's my hope that my experiences, good and bad, will help you realize you aren't alone. And if you are struggling to get into preparedness because you're worried about what others think, stop worrying. "Others" who might belittle your efforts are average. Don't worry about what average people might think of you.
These days we often talk about how those of us who advocate liberty and freedom will get us put on some sort of "list" of undesirables. It's my hope that at the end of my life, that there's enough evidence to put me on two lists: the Staunch Christian list and the Liberty and Freedom Advocate list. I realize being on these lists isn't for everyone. But you owe it to yourselves to make sure the road you choose in life gets you put on a list you and your family would be proud you are on.