What is the difference between a survival situation and self-reliant situation? Actually, there is a huge difference. One is a positive way of looking at things, while the other is by definition negative. It is like the proverbial glass half filled with water. You can either look at it as half full or half empty. It is ultimately all about perspective. Let us assume you are out on a holiday, visiting some new town when the earth rumbles and shakes, the buildings start to sway and the roads show cracks on the surface. Rushing back to your hotel, you find that it has been evacuated and no one is allowed to enter. You stand there, looking at the crumbling infrastructure around you and wonder what to do next. Your luggage is in your room without you having access to it. Your spouse and kids have fearful and anxious looks on their faces and every once in a while they look at you from the corner of their eyes, looking for guidance about what to do next. You sigh, not knowing what to do.
You succumb to the situation and run helter skelter, catching hold of anyone you think might be able to give you some advice. Everyone else is in a similar state of panic and you are rudely shoved aside. You sit down by the side of the crumbling road, family in tow, head buried in the crook of your arm, lost, dejected, frustrated, panicking. You end up snapping when your child tugs your shirt sleeve, telling you that she is thirsty.
Alternatively, this is when your knowledge and skills kicks in and you assess the situation and take positive action to make the situation better than what you find it to be. You realise you are in a situation that was not planned for. Mother Nature’s fury has been unleashed and you cannot wish it away. You have to take positive steps to be able to better your situation and that of your family. You have to take decisions to be able to make the situation better.
That is the difference in perspective. The difference between a survival situation and a self-reliant situation. It is with knowledge and skills that you can transform one to the other, everything else remaining the same. Panicking will not change anything, if anything, it will only make the situation much worse. A survival situation is scarier, more dangerous, more prone to panic attacks. It is when you are faced with a completely alien and unknown environment, not knowing what to do next, is when you find yourself in a survival situation. A survival situation is one where you are struggling between life and death, hoping you can stay alive. It is by nature distressing and negative. It plays tricks with your mind and almost forces you and goads you into giving up.
A self-reliant situation on the other hand is a more positive state of affairs. The environment may still be the same, the problems that you find yourself in may be the same as in a survival situation. The major difference lies not outside of you but in your mind. It lies in the knowledge you possess about how to face the situation. Survival is a walk on a knife’s edge veering between life and death. A self-reliant situation is making the best possible use of whatever resources you find around you, working in conjunction with the knowledge you possess, to effect the best possible outcome from a situation that might have gone horribly wrong. A self-reliant situation delves into your knowledge and experience while a survival situation abdicates your responsibility to fate, destiny and hopefully third party rescue.
Gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to turn a survival situation into a self-reliant one.