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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Getting the Wife on Board

Original Article




I was browsing the internet as usual when all of a sudden my wife asks “Hey, what’s that?”
If you peep over my shoulder while I’m on the computer you’ll usually find text being written, reviews, or all sort of pictures ranging from gear such as knives and guns to disasters and current events.
On my screen at the time a Victorinox Rescue Tool was being displayed. Given that I have numerous knives of all sorts, ranging from ordinary pocket knives, to tactical folders, from a knives worth hundreds (even  thousands)  of dollars to self made ones, never has my wife shown much interest in any of them. I did convince her of carrying the Spyderco Delica I bought her, but she had never shown an interest in knives out of thin air like now. This was new territory.
I cautiously explained, doing my best to hide my surprise, like a hunter trying not to scare away a prey. “That? Its a Victorinox Rescue Tool”. There. Now she only had to bite the bait. She did. “It looks nice, how does it work?”
 Victorinox Swiss Army Rescue Tool 
 “Its for getting yourself out of car wrecks mostly. It has a window breaking tool, another one for cutting the broken glass and a seat belt cutting tool”.
She surprised me by remembering something she must have seen over a year ago and I never thought she paid much attention to. “Your Leatherman, the one you carry all the time, that one has a seat belt cutting hook too, no?”. I nodded “Yes, but this one is more of a curved blade. It also has a nice big locking blade like their latest Soldier model, the one being issued to the Swiss army. Give me a minute and I’ll show you the youtbe demo for the rescue tool”.
I went on explaining “ Remember the floods in Buenos Aires these last few days, or the ones in Bazil? People get caught in their cars during such disasters. Sometimes the current is so strong you can’t open the doors, the windows don’t open if they are electrically operated. Even if you can lower them by hand, water may flow in and you can’t get out because of the current and people drown. In those cases  the fastest way of getting out is smashing the windshield. I once read of a guy that saved his life by shooting the windshield with his gun after it fell into a lake. You need something to break the glass”.
After seeing the clip she asked “ Could you buy me one?”. I said of course and ordered one right away. I meant to get one of these anyway for reviewing since it won the 2007 Knife of the year award.  
This happened a couple weeks ago. About a week later my wife mentioned that given the situation world wide, she thought having a fully equipped NBC shelter at home was a great idea. She went on explaining the numerous events in which it would prove to be a life saver. Of course I agreed with everything, had in fact thought about all that for years, but it was nice to hear her come to some of the same conclusions I did.
When it comes to getting the wife(or husband) on board there’s some advice that will make things easier:

1) Do what you believe you have to do. This often comes up regarding firearms and one of the spouses not agreeing with having a firearm in the house. If you’re as serious as you should be, rather than asking if you can, you should explain why you’ll be buying a firearm instead, not asking and leaving the option for a “no”. You can be very understandable and take note of your better half’s concerns by getting adequate training and keeping the gun secured in a safe, but you get it anyway. Same thing with food supplies and water. You know they are essential for life, so you don’t ask for permission you just do it. There will be time later to talk but first you take the minimum steps needed for basic family preparedness.
2) Be patient and respectful of the other person. We’re not all alike and some people need more time to digest information or to come around. My wife came from a “no gun” family with the typical liberal mentality where its believed that a gun means trouble rather than protection. With lots of patience but also being firm regarding my own convictions she has come around.
3) Plant seeds, one at a time. Mention articles you may have read about current world events, talk about the crime incidents that are now starting to become more and more common close to your location. Little by little, a grain of sand at a time, your spouse will start noticing all these pieces of info that otherwise where ignored or not fully digested. This is natural human behavior. If something scares you/worries you the natural reaction is to avoid it, so you don’t have to deal with it, and if you don’t worry about dealing with it you stay in your comfort zone of blissful ignorance. Meanwhile, the survival minded person prefers to accept these events and get ready for them. We’re not looking for fear mongering here, but getting rid of the mass ostrich mentality of sticking the head in the sand.
4)Finally, find points of common interest. Survival and preparedness basically involves every human activity to some extent. If you’re spouse is into economy or finances there’s more than enough to talk about given the current crisis, from inflation to unemployment, changes in the market, etc. Guys usually like guns, knives and tools in general. My wife likes gardening. This covers ground like food production, medicinal plants and defensive landscaping. Finding a point of common interest may open the door to a wider survival and preparedness mindset.
Be patient and the other person will eventually come around understanding why preparedness makes so much sense.
Take care,
FerFAL