I often think of my grandparents, who at the time of the last Depression of the 1930’s were young parents with three strapping boys to house, feed and educate. And although my mom, who was the caboose and came later during the 2nd World War, I just try to imagine what they felt as they were in West Virginia as the bottom fell out of the economy and  their options for work dwindled to a point that they had to move across the country to find any employment.

The stories that are told to me from my grandmother who has since passed, and from my mother who is now well into her 80’s talk of a time of great hardship and worry. My grandfather was as John Wayne as you could have gotten. Pull yourself up by the bootstraps kind of guy, and as the jobs at the mine back east no longer existed, came west and did just about anything he could to have a dinner on the table each night. It is unfortunate that we don’t have a diary or some of his writings on what he was experiencing at that time. He actually wouldn’t have been the one to put pen to paper. I can only now wonder, if he was able to see the signs of the downturns and economic woes before they happened what would he have done to mitigate their impact on him and his family.

Through those stories, however, I can see how my grandfather who never finished the 6th grade was able to bring his family through those experiences when money was scarce and times were hard. Here’s what I would do if I were in his shoes, and frankly I think we all are just on the cusp of some mighty great and eye-opening times that will make the 1930’s seem like child’s play.

Check My Earning Potentials – Those stories were mainly about the things that my grandfather did for work. He was great with his hands, he was able to fix cars, repair furniture and assist in remodeling of homes. He drove a trolley, was a milkman, did odd jobs and finally was able to get on with the fire department that stabilized his bottom line.

~** Look at what you now do for work, to bring in that paycheck for yourself and your family. Is it a profession that will remain after the hardships get going? I looked at it nearly a decade ago, and determined what I was doing was not just a non-essential function when the times are tough, it is usually the first round of lay offs when profit margins get tight. Perhaps you, like I had to do, take the hard look and not lie to what you are capable of doing for work.

Generally speaking, anything that is desk work, or computer work (besides maintaining networks) and those intellectual jobs will not meet the muster. You will need to pivot to the things that everyone needs, in good times AND the bad. But not everyone has the stomach to become a mortician, so you will need to weigh out your options and what you will be able to earn, or barter with or through the work itself keep a roof over your head and food in your gullet.


By putting it off, and learning the new skills, and getting practice and known for those things that will survive the hardship through, you are just putting off the time when you can really be effectively earning when those tribulations come around. Get off your butts and begin today with studying and doing what you have identified will make it through for you.

Earn The Next Safe Haven – My grandfather and his ancestors had been back east since the days of the Revolution. Although they were just small time farmers, they were able to keep things nice and cozy. As the money dried up, so did the ability to pay for where they were, so they made the hard decision to go where the jobs were, the housing could and the community would help them out.

For many of us, who live in apartments, or small places, even if we own them outright, may have to consider going to other places that would be better off for us and our family. Be willing to take the hard step in the direction you need to go. Don’t be so stubborn that because it is all you know, that you will remain in the place you are currently at. Start looking around and seeing where the proverbial grass may just be greener. And start making the moves  towards where you have pinpointed.


If where you are is the best place, then by every means get that place ready for the tough times. Outdoor gardens, water gathering and irrigation systems, alternative power backups et. al. If you identified that remaining where you currently are at, wouldn’t be tenable or conducive to breathing when tough times come and other people less prepared go looking for those who are more prepped. Then, start making the moves now. Even if it is to lighten your load of possessions (needless things in times of trials) and packing up your essentials for a quick dip out the door. Get the land you need, the abode that will keep you out of the elements, and the places of storage that will be needed as it has been shown in the past.

Gain the Knowledge to Wisdom – My grandfather was fortunate that as he grew up, he was taught or shown or was told to do the certain things that would make the difference in living well, above just surviving poorly. Being able to find your own food, without pulling a dollar from your pocket was something he excelled at. He went fishing and hunting and was able to bring in and prepare those food stuffs that he and the family needed.

There are many across the globe, even at the point of writing this, that are dramatizing what it means to be penniless, homeless, and hopeless. Those who are experiencing the extreme economic collapse in China right now are heart breaking and filling my heart with pity for them. They did not plan for the hard times, and they live in a society that is unforgiving when you become destitute. They don’t have the sheer wherewithal to alleviate their pain, worry and dire straights of their situation. My greatest fear, is that we here in America are only a few short years, maybe even months away from such a socio-economic collapse as is now spreading across the earth.


Beyond just earning a paycheck, or putting food in your pantries, there is a great many more items that would serve you well to know and to be able to practice. Skills of which may be able to assist you in any circumstance you may find yourself in. It is for you to determine what those are, how to learn them, and practice them out so you can be not only proficient, but have the muscle memory of doing it when the time calls for it. Self-Defense, Orienteering, Spatial Awareness, Teaching, or even a bit of Bushcraft. You will not be sorry that you have expanded and continue to grow your knowledge base and hands-on know how. Such things are going to be harder to pick up when you are in a state of stress and worry.

Ready the Mind – As I think upon the stories that were taught to me, I marvel at the resiliency of all who were able to make it through that time period. There were many who didn’t, many who didn’t fair too well, and those situations may even be visited upon us in the third or fourth generation from when it originally happened. Many just did not have the fortitude to keep pushing through.

There is something about readying yourself for a fight, for the struggle, for the obstacle to overcome. There is a power when you decide beforehand what your actions and reactions will be to any given situation. When economic and peer pressures are pounding down upon you, what will you do? How will you act? Will you be able to live with yourself if you act incorrectly?


Mental acuity and spiritual sensitivity is key to keeping yourself from becoming what your current circumstance press upon you. Remember, never let your current situations determine who and what you are. You need to find that out now, before the whirlwinds start to blow upon the machinations of the mind. Once you do, once you have done the hard work with steeling your mind to the tasks ahead, and knowing spiritually where you can derive strength from in character, in resiliency and in hope. Then you stand an excellence chance of pulling through the muck and the mess that will plague our societies for the next few years or even decades.

Clasp Close Those Who You Love -There is something about being family. And for those who have experienced a tight knit bond with those who you grew up with, who you have given birth to, and continue to strive with in the hope of them gaining the good that has been placed in this world. Who have that unseen, yet, unbreakable connection with you is immensely motivating and enjoyable. Mankind is here to have joy, and we should look to rejoice with those who came before us, and who have come after us. Love can accomplish so many things, especially in those hard times we go through.

If it wasn’t your privilege to experience such, or if it has been a great point of contention for you, there are ways to rectify and improve those situations. If you are able to be stalwart, and have complete integrity of heart and kind words to those who you call blood relatives, then half of that family struggle is accomplished. And if those who are your family, who have not been friendly or shown love in the past (and if they are not complete narcissistic sociopaths) they can see that and reciprocate that as well.


Family is the best, whether you are able to have those who share your DNA in the fold that you cherish so much the better! If you haven’t OR you are the cause of such strife within the family, then resolve today to make things aright, Because experience has shown that hardship is easier to take and go through when you have those you live to strive and work for. To cherish, to hope for and to love.

Bring into your fold, those who feel like family as well. When a group of people, sharing the same types of goals, and have the same purpose of heart, there are a great many challenges that can be overcome. Blood or not. Surround yourself with those who you trustworthy, have brotherly kindness and strive the greatest commandment that has been given us from on High.

The Takeaway

My grandfather, Walter Nathaniel would have been 125 years old here in April, and it would be my hope that I could harness the sheer determinedness he had as he faced the times in which he lived. Now is the time to begin working towards a better future, no matter what your current circumstances and position are. From this point forward, the intelligence you add upon yourself will serve you well in this point in time, and into the future. It will also be found ‘acceptable’ at those pearly gates. Be up and doing, with a heart for any fate. and find communion with the Quick and the Living, not the Indolent and Dead.