Starting in the year 1929, the United States fell and fell hard. This event in history was infamously coined “The Great Depression”.
It became known as the worst US economic disaster of modern times, with the full burden of it landing squarely on the shoulders of the American working class who struggled to survive the great depression.
Our last Afternoon Alert was about the lessons we can take from the Great Depression. Such a massive economic disaster teaches us many (very harsh) lessons, far too many to discuss in one piece. Today we’ll discuss some additional crucial lessons we can learn from history to ensure our survival in the very likely event we are plunged into another depression.
In the immortal words of George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Prepare yourself mentally for hard times as well as physically. During the Great Depression, brothers and sisters, lovers and friends were subject to extreme suffering and (as the name of the era implies) depression.
Many folks were simply not equipped to handle the cultural shift from prosperity to poverty – or chose not to – and opted to take their own lives.
If you want to be a rock in a sea of misery, you need to sharpen your mind. The best way to do this is through the philosophy of Stoicism.
One aspect of Stoicism promotes the practice self-deprivation during good times to mentally prepare you for bad times.
One such example is fasting for a week. To experience the sensation of extreme hunger and understand that while uncomfortable in the short term, it’s survivable.
A second example would be to sleep for a week on a cold hard floor and not in a soft, comfortable bed. This practice will help strengthen your resolve and spirit should that ever become your actual reality.
Not only will this practice give you more appreciation for the good things you have in your life today, but also provide mental preparations when life’s circumstances take a turn for the worst.
Something else we can take from the Great Depression; hold on to your family. Marriage rates in the Great Depression plummeted mostly because single men could not afford to support themselves, let alone a family. Proposals dried up and became something of a rarity from 1929 to 1934.
Surprisingly, divorce rates throughout the era decreased!
However, this has been attributed to spousal abandonment.
Men did not have the means to legally leave their wives. While formal divorce rates were low, abandonment rates during the Great Depression were at an all-time high.
The Great Depression brought about a lot of “poor man’s divorces”, and a surplus of single ladies.
If you want to stay with your spouse through such trying times, then focus on strengthening your bonds of love, trust, and communication today.
Another Depression lesson; people indulge their vices more during tough times. During the Depression, rates of alcoholism escalated despite the prohibition laws that were enforced in the US at the same time. Most of the available booze was either expensive imports, diluted imports, or homebrewed hooch. All of which have their shortcomings and most of which were controlled by the mob, or independent bootleggers.
Neither of whom were good folks to owe money to.
Amazingly, regardless of all that, the number of alcoholic Americans rose steadily throughout the Depression. When times are tough a lot of people peer down the bottom of a bottle looking for answers. Now, illegal drugs might be substituted. That will increase lawlessness and desperate behavior.
Remember, we’re all in this together,