Bummed Out

Building this country required a huge amount of manpower, especially when you consider that much was built by human hands rather than power equipment. Projects like the Transcontinental Railroad and the Hoover Dam required workforces numbering in the thousands, and hard-working men who came and went with the job.

These men were called hobos, or vagabonds (or bums). They lived in shanty towns, because that’s all there was at the end of the tracks and they carried little with them, because they knew they’d be moving on.

These so-called “bums” were NOT just bumming around. They were surviving against all odds using the tools available to them. Our last Afternoon Alert discussed some of the survival tactics the hobos of our country used to thrive, and today we’ll discuss a few more and how you can still use them for survival today.

Hobos typically gathered together in communities, wherever they were working. That way they could help each other out. Cooking for 10 people is easier than cooking for one, and by doing so, everyone doesn’t have to carry a pot around with them. One would bring the pot and the others would bring the ingredients.

When you’re part of a community you also tend to watch out for each other. If you’re by yourself, you might not see what’s happening to you. For example, hypothermia can set in in such a subtle way that you freeze to death, without even realizing what’s happening to you. But if other people are around, they’ll likely notice you’re not well and help.

The lesson here? Have friends. Community will save you.

Most hobos could recognize edible plants and those which could serve as medicines. While they bought food, they augmented what they bought with what they found. Knowing what you can eat can mean the difference between a full belly and starving to death. Knowing what you can use for medicine can also save your life.

God has provided a wide range of foods and medicines in nature around us. But you’ve got to know what to use and how to use it. When you’re living that minimalist lifestyle, you really need that knowledge. Hobo survival tip, live off the land.

Throughout history, there have been people out of jobs because they wouldn’t take one that’s beneath them. While I can understand that to some extent, that pride can be deadly.

When things go bad, such as in a financial collapse, we’re all going to have to do whatever we can, no matter how much education we have or what we did before.

The lesson? Drop your ego. There’s no room for pride when it comes to surviving a crisis.

Part of the reason that hobos are seen as lazy and shiftless is that they weren’t worriers. They did what they could and left the rest up to divine providence. We could all learn from that.

Yes, there is always a part that we are to do. If we don’t work, we’re not going to eat. But on the other hand, worrying never added a day to anyone’s life. When you’ve done what you can, just hope and pray it’s enough. The rest is beyond your capability.

Worry causes incredible health problems. High blood pressure is caused more by worry, than by any other reason. Why do you think they call it “hypertension?” That literally means, “too much tension” or “too much stress.” Quit stressing out and get to work. Do your part and then follow the example of the hobos, putting the rest in God’s hands.

Remember, we’re all in this together,

Derek Paulson

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