Preparedness is not just about having the 'right stuff' or enough stuff. The most important 'stuff' to have is having your mental and spiritual stuff together. The good news is that this is a resource that is given freely through churches, the Internet and our friends and family. Whether we follow Biblical teachings and/or other, being firmly rooted in our connections within the universe and our purpose in living is an incredibly important part of preparedness.
Without a firm foundation that explores what we believe and why, we cannot make the type of life-saving decisions that may come our way. True compassion is a difficult concept to understand and even harder to practice. Many teachings lead us to understand that compassion may feel cruel, but as we all heard our Parents mention (at least once) it may hurt the 'giver' as well as the receiver. We may be forced to make decisions that leave us in agony to ensure that we keep to our plans of taking care of our families.
Compassion is about providing that which is within our power and enables the receiver to learn what they need to learn at the time. If we do not show compassion for the man or woman that our child will become, we would never force them to walk, go to school or accept the consequences of their actions or decisions.
So how does this apply to being prepared? We must keep counsel with those we trust. We may offer suggestions to our loved ones, but we cannot prepare for all of them. They have responsibility for their families as we have for ours. Someday, we may find that we must be compassionate by not giving to those who would not prepare.
This is not to say that we may abandon charity and call it compassion. Part of our preparedness must include a little extra for giving to others who may have real need and could not prepare. This may be due to physical or mental limitations, or to the good fortune of surviving an attack that stripped them of everything but their lives. Our spiritual preparedness will guide us in how much we can do to help in such circumstances, and be as generous as possible.
To be able to decide where the line of charity and compassion lie, and do this in the kindest and most loving of ways will take incredible preparation and soul-searching. It is something I do not look forward to with any joy, though it may come. If you haven't become acquainted with your God or your soul before then, you may be unprepared for making good decisions.
My sincere thanks to Jane for reminding me of this important part of our preparation, growing our spiritual fitness and cultivating our daily communion.