This is a post for my future grandkids. Hopefully I have some one day!
A few days ago, war broke out in Ukraine. Russia attacked them. I don't know why. And contrary to what they tell you, most media outlets and people on social media don't know, either.
As I write this, I sit in Poland, a few hundred kilometers away from the nearest bombings Russia carried out on Ukraine.
As far as I know, I'm safe in Poland for now.
I'm not worried about dying from this war — I'm writing a blog post for my future grandkids after all!
I'm writing this to my future grandkids because I think there are a few things you should know:
- Always be ready for disasters.
- Don't worry about what other people are doing.
- Even if things are bad, be happy.
- Don't fight unless you absolutely have to.
Here in Poland, the people around me are low-key panicking. They are withdrawing cash from banks (which will be useless in a war) and stocking up on meat (which is a terrible survival food), diesel, and toilet paper.
As I mentioned, I'm in Poland... a country which is safe from the war.
For the time being, there has been no real impact on Poland from the war, and unless things escalate severely, there won't be.
I don't blame people for preparing, but I pity them for their poor planning and executing. Which leads me to my first point:
Always be ready for disasters.
In your home(s) in the future, you should always have some supplies hidden away for emergencies. Not necessarily for wars, but for any kind of emergency.
I don't know how far into the future you are reading this and what the world looks like now, but let's go over some of the basic things you should have stored away for emergencies today... perhaps they still apply for you in the future.
What you should keep hidden away
Useful things for bartering
In natural disasters and wars, money issued by a central bank isn't useful for anyone, so it won't do you any good, either.
If all hell has broke loose, your neighbor wouldn't trade you a loaf of bread for one million dollars (that's a lot of money right now).
But you know what she might trade you a loaf of bread for?
A gold earring.
A fork made of real silver.
Those are just examples, you should stock up a little nest egg of valuable commodities like those.
Small, dense things which are valuable and don't need a central authority to make them valuable.
Things like gasoline and batteries are great too, but unlike gold or ammunition, you can't really store them for a long time and expect them to still be good... and they're kind of bulky and dangerous... so unfortunately they aren't great to keep tucked away in your home.
But remember, the key is: these things must be useful, and ideally easy to pack and carry around. That's why generally, precious metals and weapon ammunition are great.
I know I just said money is useless in natural disasters and wars, but those aren't the only kind of emergencies you might find yourself in. Those are global and local threats that affect a lot of people. Perhaps you'll run into an an emergency that only affects you... like you have to run away because someone is trying to kill you.
I hope that's never the case, and that's quite an extreme example... but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.
Cash or some kind of extra credit card that isn't linked to you personally (perhaps a trusted friends? or something pre-paid that doesn't expire?) can come in handy if you need to GTFO of wherever you are quickly and without a trace.
Food that does NOT go bad, no matter how it is stored.
By the way, if you ever do have to buy food because you're worried about a war... don't do what half of Poland is doing right now... for crying out loud, don't buy meat or anything that goes into your freezer.
Buy food that won't go bad, and that can be stored in room temperature.
Canned foods. Dry foods. Bottled water.
If things seriously get bad, you cannot rely on always having electricity, which means the meat in your freezer will go bad. And again, you might not be able to stay in one place, you might have to travel away from home, so you need something that you can store in a bag or backpack and eat days, weeks, or months into the future.
Don't worry about what other people are doing.
I hate to say it, but a lot of people are stupid. Or they're smart, but for whatever reason, they don't act like it.
People panic. People lie. People blindly follow the lead of other people...
You're better than that.
Observe others, but take a second to decide why they're doing what they're doing before you follow their lead.
Let me give you an example:
2 days ago I went to the bank. There was a line of people waiting to get in... so I had to wait. Everyone was trying to withdraw money or convert their money into other currencies or something. When I got to the teller and told him I'd like to deposit some cash, he practically sighed with relief and said "bardzo chętnie"... which is roughly equivalent to the English "with pleasure". Clearly, I was one of the few reasonable people he had dealt with over the last couple of days.
There is very little risk of the Polish currency suddenly being devalued right now. The fact that everyone is rushing to withdraw money from Polish banks just shows that they do not have a good grasp on their finances.
It is not wise to have a lot of wealth tied up in any national currency. Not because there is anything wrong with national currencies per se, but because national currencies are not good mediums for storing wealth.
National currencies lose value every day by design. You should have enough of it to make everyday purchases... some saved up for emergencies... and in some situations you can save up a large sum of it if you're planning to make e.g. a large investment into something... but aside from that... you should not really have money. You should have valuable things like real estate, stock in good businesses, etc.
If you have so much of your wealth tied up in a currency that you feel the need to rush and withdraw it at the slightest sign of a risk... I feel for you. You are risking a lot and you might need some serious help with your finances.
So anyway, don't worry or panic or do anything just because someone else is doing it. Don't take people so seriously. Observe, think for yourself, and act logically.
Even if things are bad, be happy.
I think Bobby Mcferrin is a wise man. I don't know him, but I know he once said "in this life we have some trouble, but when you worry: you make it double. Don't worry, be happy."
Those are words to live by.
I'm luckier than I deserve to be. I don't know why I'm here in front of my laptop writing this blog post... I could have been born in Ukraine and be forced to fight to defend my village right now. I could have been born in Russia and be forced to man a tank riding into a Ukrainian village. I could have been a blade of grass in Central Park that gets stepped on every day...
But for some reason, I'm me. And that's incredible.
There are people far less fortunate than me that are happy. It would be rude and idiotic of me not to be happy, given how happy people less fortunate than me are.
Never take for granted what you have. If you're reading this, you probably have more than most people do.
If you're reading this, it also probably means you are free, not being held hostage by some violent kidnappers... there are things to be very happy about!
Don't fight unless you have to.
War is bad. There are winners in war.
Another wise man is Mr. Miyagi. He once said: "Fighting not good; somebody always get hurt."
I don't know Mr. Miyagi, either. But if more people thought like him, maybe we wouldn't have to worry about wars.
I hope the situation in Ukraine doesn't escalate.
If you're reading this and you're my grandkid, that means it probably didn't... because if it does escalate, there is a chance this could be the end of humankind. The lives of everyone on Earth quite literally depend on a few men not authorizing nuclear weapons to be rocketed and detonated all over Earth. It's quite tragic that literally a few people have the power to destroy the entire planet as we know it in a matter of hours.
But there is no reason to worry about nuclear wars, because worrying about them does not prevent them. I cannot stop a nuclear war from happening. I certainly can't do it from the position I am in today, and certainly couldn't do it by worrying out it.
That's why, so as long as I can, I'm going to keep being me, keep being happy, avoid fighting, avoid worrying, and get better and stronger every day.
Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to stop a nuclear war.
Whoever you are, I love ya'
— your ((great )+) grandpa... or just some guy from the internet