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When would you give up?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by runcible68, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. runcible68


    Aug 23, 2006
    I personally think the odds of the world ending in some kind of global cataclysm are remote. I prepare for more mundane disasters likely to affect in my area (Near NYC). Things like terrorist attacks, weather, blackouts, the water company telling us to boil our water and crime.

    A while back, however, I watched The Road after reading Cormac McCarty’s book. If you haven’t seen the movie, well, it’s chilling. An unknown disaster has laid waste to the entire world. Most people are dead, the air is filled with lung shearing particulates, it’s perpetual winter, the days are always dark and overcast and nothing can grow. Survivors have resorted to cannibalism, even keeping people as livestock and cutting parts of them off when they’re hungry. At night, terrible dust storms rage to the point where you can’t see in front of your face. The imagery is horrific.

    After I watched that film I discussed it with my girlfriend. She didn’t see it, but she said, “After a while I think I’d want to die. What’s worth living for?” In the movie, that was the response of the protagonist’s wife, played by Charleze Theron. It was also the response of many of the survivors. They tried holding out for a long time, but in the end, many of them, if not most of them, committed suicide. And the protagonist was even willing to kill his son to prevent him from being eaten.

    I, of course, reflexively identified with the protagonist. I told myself I’d be the “last man standing type” trekking across the ruined landscape with my AR-15 eking out an existence across the scorched earth. But a while later I told myself, “Who am I kidding?’ If my GF offed herself, all my family and friends were dead and it looked like the world was well and truly done for, I don’t think I’d want to keep on living either. When you look at the sheer mental trauma that would be inflicted by such a gargantuan event, I don’t think most people would make it mentally. Even much smaller events (When compared to TEOTWAWKI) like earthquakes in Turkey can send people into suicidal spirals. What’s the rule of three say? Three minutes without air, three hours without shelter, three days without water, three months without food and three months without hope? The hope parts the toughie. We can prepare for everything but that. And everybody has their breaking point.

    So, as an intellectual exercise, how long so you think you’d last in the face of such a terrible event? (And I mean something like The Road, a worst case scenario.) Even if you prepped out the wazoo, what would you do when even that fails? When would you give up?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  2. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    I have a wife and two young kids. As long as they are alive there is no giving up. If they are dead, I still don't give up, I just don't think I am wired that way. I have been through plenty of good reason to give up on a lot of things and I just don't.

    However, I would likely become a bit less conservative in keeping my head down to keep my family safe (as that would no longer be an issue). That may shorten my life. There is a big difference between giving up and taking your own life and being more aggressive in standing on principles without regaurd to the consequences to yourself.

  3. When you have kids you never give up. When you have some you will understand.
  4. B.Reid


    Jun 20, 2005
    Suicide is for *******, I don't believe in giving up. Fight to the end. I have told friends that if they find me as a suicide that it will be a murder and let the authorities know that. One exception might be a terminal disease where there is no hope and just pain. A friend came to me once talking about killing himself, he had been buy several friends houses talking about suicide, I laid into him and told him I wouldn't go to his funeral if he did so. He is still alive 20+ years later.
  5. arclight610


    Dec 2, 2009
    A man with nothing to live for is a dangerous thing. I have my family to live for. If they were to die, I guess I'd just turn into a cannibal hunter.

    Of course, I have more than a S&W with 1 shot too.
  6. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

    Aug 11, 2006
    Sunny Florida
    Of course the protagonist in "The Road" was primarily concerned with getting his son to safety as he knew he was dying.
  7. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    It is a sin to despair. Never, ever give up.
  8. RWBlue


    Jan 24, 2004
    Suicide is for quitters.

    I was raised to be hard headed. I will be more like the black knight in the monty python movie. They lop off my limbs and I still try to bight their knees.
  9. mac66

    mac66 Huge Member Millennium Member

    Oct 28, 1999
    Blue Planet
    "The Road" is a metaphor for the journey of life. We all have to take the journey knowing that we are all gonna die in the end anyway. No one gets out alive. So what's the point? What's the point of not turning into a cannibal or resorting to the worst of human behavior? What's the point of "keeping the flame," i.e, sticking to moral, ethical behavior? Until you figure that out, you have no way of determining what you would do.
  10. jdavionic

    jdavionic NRA Member

    May 1, 2008
    Me, never. My kids, never. My wife, not sure. Life hasn't been too difficult for her. When things have gotten tough for her in the past, I have seen a tendency to just quit - e.g., job challenges for her when she used to work. However she is very that's why I say "not sure".
  11. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    This. Wife, kids, grandkids; whoever depends on you is the reason to be here.
  12. bdcochran


    Sep 23, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Declaring yourself a tough guy is not the same as understanding despair.

    Essentially, the psychiatrist, Viktor Franl concluded that a person gives meaning to life and not the other way around.

    Man's Search for Meaning
    by Viktor Frankl

    "I had wanted simply to convey to the reader by way of concrete example that life holds a potential meaning under any conditions, even the most miserable ones. And I thought that if the point were demonstrated in a situation as extreme as that in a concentration camp, my book might gain a hearing. I therefore felt responsible for writing down what I had gone through, for I thought it might be helpful to people who are prone to despair."
  13. yellowhand


    Feb 1, 2012
    During the Shoah, 1935 thru 1945, some gave up, but most fought on till their last breaths.
    "Most" people will fight even when there is no help coming to the bitter end.
    History 101.

    LASTRESORT20 LongTerm-Guy

    Aug 10, 2010
    `The man who wins "may have been counted out several times",
    ***but he didn’t hear the referee.
    Never quit or give up….never…..never give up.`
    - H.E. Janson
  15. 4TS&W


    Jul 20, 2002
    here and there...
    No matter how bad your day gets, you can always ruin someone else's!!! :)

    Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine
  16. racerford


    Apr 22, 2003
    DFW area
    There is significant difference between despair, depression, and giving up. Been there, done that, and didn't give up.
  17. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Much as I dislike threads based on TV hypotheticals, I have to object (politely) to yellowhand's overly-broad generalization. Most people do not necessarily fight to the end, and there's good evidence that despair can set into a group like a disease and wipe everyone out within a few days.

    Recently read a book titled "Seaworthy" that examined several long hardship voyages and shipwrecks. One example was remarkable, a group of people escaping a shipwreck who were phenomenally well provisioned (robust lifeboats, lots of food and water, even casks of wine!) but despair set in for some reason and most were dead within a week though a variety of different causes--but no fatalities due to disease, or a lack of food, water, or shelter. Many died through fights among themselves, as I recall. Others would just jump into the water and sink. It sounded like some sort of social contagion.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  18. Kieller


    May 18, 2007
    Kansas City
    This is nearly an impossible question to answer but I do agree with previous responses that if you had family that still depended on you that your will to push on would be much hardier.

    It would be very difficult to tell what you would do if everyone you knew was dead and you were in a very trying situation. Swallowing a bullet is never an option IMHO but you can literally drive yourself into the ground thinking about everything that has/will happen to you.

    I believe that psycologically most people are not prepared to endure hardship of that nature.
  19. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I'm too stubborn to quit.

    As for the OP's personal theory, keeping an M4 running in a world full of blowing dust and no CLP is a wonderful fantasy. LOL!