What Does “Lowering Expectations” Really Mean, and What Does It Have to do with Prepping?

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by Fabian Ommar

Author of The ULTIMATE Survival Gear Handbook and  Street Survivalism

José came up with a very insightful and thought-provoking article about societal control and other bizarre initiatives going on today around the world. And really – I guess we all agree – things are crazy right now. One point was made about lowering expectations.

Inspired by his personal and frank tone, I decided to (respectfully) offer my perspective too, a different one, if only to try and stir up the debate on such a controversial yet urgent topic. I apologize in advance to everyone for being more opinionated than usual. This was actually supposed to be a reply to be posted in the comments. But in trying to express my reflections and opinions on the topic I ended up writing more than I wanted, so here it is.

What does “lowering expectations” mean?

And what does that have to do with prepping?

Life is hard enough even when it’s good. It’s unfair, risky, and a constant struggle. And maybe that’s the very purpose of existence: to keep going, to face and overcome adversity – “to survive”. Under that light, lowering expectations doesn’t necessarily mean “life sucks”. That verdict (or realization) is more a perception of conscience than factual reality.

Being able to adjust our expectations to the twists and changes that are part and parcel of life means being flexible and resilient. We don’t do it because we enjoy it, but because we have to. Or else, existence becomes impossible, at the very least insufferable. Adapting and thus surviving starts with that, then.

What really should concern us though is the possibility (or should I say the likelihood certainty) of things get even crazier in the near future. With that perspective, isn’t lowering our expectations a sensible thing to do – regardless of the causes, or if it’s being proposed by someone we don’t like?

Our expectations are unrealistically high sometimes.

Let’s get real: our “expectations” have been anchored high by decades of abundance, hedonistic consumerism, unprecedented technological advance, and (mostly) untroubled peace and prosperity.

And that’s fine – as long as we don’t lose sight of reality and feel entitled. If we do, we may have trouble accepting, and consequently adapting to a new reality. Maybe I fail to see the big picture, but I don’t feel in the least triggered by someone calling for the lowering of my expectations.

I admit it’s disturbing, and also to see some unofficial and shady organization declaring I will own nothing and be happy. But should that be worrying, fearsome, or cause so much anxiety? Who said those propositions are the reality of things, instead of some spurious narrative by a group of overinflated egos and sociopaths?

Perhaps most important: whoever said benign conditions are warranted, or endless prosperity should be taken for granted? That’s entitlement right there. We can (and should) make plans, nourish dreams, and work hard – and that’s it. Beyond that, very little is certain.

What expectations should we have if we truly, honestly believe the world doesn’t owe us anything?

It really doesn’t, and that’s a freeing thought. I’ve been deliberately and proactively lowering my expectations and doing my best to remain “happy”, in case the world pulls the rug under me, since much long before I even became aware of this NWO nonsense. Because, well, that’s life.

Does that mean I’ve lowered my guard, my efforts, my lifestyle? Or that I’m giving up and surrendering? On the contrary: I’ll keep working and fighting for my well-being and ultimately my survival (and my family’s), focused on what’s under my control, for as long as necessary, or for as long as I can. I see that as the essence of hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

People everywhere have been, and will keep, doing the same. It’s called living.  Thus, I can’t even afford to care much for what Bill, Klaus or Joe, or some newspaper or NGO, say. F*ck those figureheads and their entities.

We must refuse to get offended or change our perceptions because austerity is being proposed, or even imposed, by anyone we deem as TPTB.

If everything coming from them is “evil” and has second, third, and fourth intentions, why would we waste time, mental bandwidth, or give them the power to mold our thoughts, beliefs, and actions like that? Especially if doing so can help them in hastening or even fulfilling their plans?

We feel deceived and robbed, and rightly so because the system is definitely rigged and right now this process of rising oppression and wealth concentration – which has existed for the entire history of mankind – is accelerating and becoming more evident, already causing a lot of suffering.

It’s frustrating and disheartening, no question. But it’s too late to reverse it or neutralize what’s coming. Yes, this is about the “Great Reset”. But don’t get worked up just yet: this is just a name for the natural cycle that will take place regardless, simply because no party can last forever.

The reset will happen either way

Every once in a while, or every few generations, the system crumbles under its own weight, complexity, and corruption. And a new cycle begins. This dynamic repeats throughout history.

Resets are natural and frequent occurrences. They can have financial, political, or social nature. In fact, it’s usually the three, because they’re all deeply linked. Some even have names – Perestroika, Bretton Woods – while others happen anonymously, or locally, with less fanfare and impact. Resets can also be viewed as a rebirth. A birth is an event of change and pain, but also of joy, hope, and promises of future prosperity. The Great Reset is just another re-birth, so all of those phases are to be expected.

Of course, something of this magnitude and extent always contains greater risks and other dangers (e.g. a world conflict). Either way, it’s a historical certainty that there will be pain. But at some point, the growth, prosperity, and joy will return.

It’s happening more due to “gravity” and “inertia” (laws of nature), than by the design of a group of bloated egos and big mouths.

These people are powerful, but they’re not gods. I recognize their positions and capacities, as much as anyone else’s, because doing differently would be a mistake. They’re part of this, but not the whole thing or even the main thing. We should stop giving them more credit than deserved. Objectively, they’re as stupid, reckless, short-sighted and self-centered, and as powerless in the face of nature as every one of their fellow humans.

The damage has already been done.

Above all else, they can’t control or prevent the fallout of what has already been done to the economy or the environment.

Of course, that won’t keep them from trying their hand either way, just as we’re trying to prepare and survive crap hitting the fan, and if possible thrive, all in the same world.

They can push their narratives and plans, and even try to enforce their world views, taking advantage of the crisis and confusion we all created together. But their words and actions will have little net effect in the great scheme of things. The forces at motion are much bigger than any group has power over, even the almighty elites, governments, and big corporations.

This isn’t to say we won’t be impacted.

This doesn’t mean we won’t be impacted by those (and other) events and developments.

When such forces are unleashed, things get unpredictable. Many won’t make it through, that’s for sure. But while we are alive and conscious, we have options. Living in the lower spheres of this reality, we can buy or reject narratives.

And if collective revolt or a revolution comes at some point, we will have to choose whether we join in, or not. Maybe we get dragged in, against our will. Don’t say it can’t happen, because it has so many times before in history. None of that will change the course of things, but it’s a personal choice and ultimately, what each of us has to live with individually.

What we do when the crunch comes is the real meaning of free will.

I aspire to be ready to face the good and the bad with the same acceptance and gratitude.

I’m sure some people out there would love to have my bad days. If something, I owe the world for the blessing of my life. However hard it may be, it’s still much better than many out there have right now, or have had in the past. And for that, I’m immensely grateful. That’s why I give my all to pursue the best life I can, for myself and everyone around me.

At the same time, I actively and constantly seek discomfort and hardship. That’s how I prepare. Others recommend this too, whether it’s training in bad weather or “embracing the suck.”

I’m in no way exempting the elites, politicians or any of TPTB from their sins.

It’s just an attempt at a distant and less passionate look at the situation (as much as possible, considering I’m just human and part of the process myself).

Do I think things will get bad?

Absolutely.

I believe it’s inevitable and this process will bring suffering and pain and demand sacrifice going ahead. If I thought otherwise I wouldn’t be preparing since the 2008 Great Financial Crisis and doing everything I can to promote preparedness and awareness.

We are in for great difficulty ahead.

I hope it has become clear that we’re in for a very, very hard period going ahead.

It’s just that I believe it’s a larger and cyclical turning, much more than by design. It may not make a difference in practice, but it does in my mind and ultimately in my actions.

Admittedly, some of the hardship and challenges might come from top-down policies, schemes, and interventions. As we’ve seen, TPTB (bureaucrats, governments, and powerful elites) are very efficient at screwing things up and taking advantage of confusion and turmoil for their own benefit.

Will that ever change? Probably not, so back to our smaller circles

Keeping hopeful, positive, and in control of one’s self is hard but necessary when the immediate future doesn’t seem much promising (especially if compared to the recent past). As Selco says, now is the time to focus on our small circles.

While the way the world is going right now doesn’t make me happy, I refuse to concede any group or entity that power, nor hold a grudge or become sour. I tend to take extreme ownership (as proposed by Jocko Willink) because that’s what’s up to me and can change my reality.

I don’t pretend to change anyone’s view. I just wanted to offer an empowering message. Ultimately, “this too shall pass” just as other times of incredible hardship have passed. So while going through, I only hope to have the strength to keep doing everything I can to not kill my soul (or let others do it), especially if I have to sacrifice the rest to survive.

Lowering expectations is a small price to pay for keeping my soul.

What are your thoughts on lowering expectations?

Many people seem angered at the very idea of lowering expectations, even personally insulted. How are you prepared to adapt to survive the changes that are ahead? What would you give up? What would you insist on keeping?

Let’s discuss it in the comments.

About Fabian

Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who since his youth has been involved with self-reliance and outdoor activities. Fabian also chooses to practice the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.

Fabian’s ebook, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City, is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times. 

You can follow Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor

Fabian Ommar

Fabian Ommar

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48 Responses

  1. Fabian,
    I do not think our responses to the “lower your expectations,” WaPo op-ed came through in the comments section.
    It was not the lower your expectations part that I had a problem with.
    It was coming from the WaPo. An op-ed, written by a upper middle class white woman (could of been a man for that matter), with the condescending tone of “You! Unwashed masses! Shut up and deal with it .”
    And would the author had the same attitude if all these issues had occurred during the Trump admin?
    Something tells me, no.

    I have high expectations.

    High expectations food, fuel, supplies of various kinds will continue to increase in cost.
    High expectations that a result of the above, my purchasing power will fall, and so will my quality of life.
    High expectations empty shelves will continue and maybe even worsen. Possibly leading to social strife.
    High expectations this WH admin, and MSM will continue to gaslight me that all is well (recall the July 4th “You saved $0.16 cents! statement, or the if you take out beef, chicken, pork and eggs inflation is right where it is supposed to be! or these are all “high class” issues, or empty shelves are a good thing!, or “broken treadmill”).
    I have high expectations things will continue to get worse in the short, and mid terms.
    I have high expectations the government, the Fed, central banks will do everything they can to keep the wheels on the cart. And fail.
    I have high expectations that there is a black swan out there, and when it comes home to roost, the whole system is going to seize up like an engine without oil.
    Then I have high expectations things will get real interesting.

    -Cheers!

    1. “It was coming from the WaPo. An op-ed, written by a upper middle class white woman (could of been a man for that matter), with the condescending tone of “You! Unwashed masses! Shut up and deal with it .”
      And would the author had the same attitude if all these issues had occurred during the Trump admin?
      Something tells me, no.”

      1StMarine, I get what you´re saying. My point is perhaps more to focus on the message rather than the messenger. There will ALWAYS be stupid, egotistic, sociopathic, condescending people with a voice out there.

      Especially in times like these, when it seems that too great a part of our society is open to nonsense and absurdity (socialism, wokeism, etc.). All this crap is in fashion, so we´re being buried by it. *sigh* it´s just the times.

      We can´t control these messengers nor their messages, much less the greater forces that are behind it, which IMHO include not just the elites, govts. and TPTB but society in general.

      Yes, you and me. Maybe not you, me and the rest of us trying to keep some sense and sanity and weight a little less on the universe. But whatever, we´re in it too so we´re taken along for the ride.

      If I go there and beat or even scream at this gal, I´ll get crushed. End of story, they won. If I even write a letter to WaPo I may get flagged – bam, they won. If I get upset by what she said, they won as well.

      If I read and ignore, they lose their power and I can focus on more productive thoughts and actions. That´s all. We always have an option, except if we relinquish this only power.

      As for the rest of your high expectations, I must agree lol.

  2. In general I would agree that a lot of people have high expectations in life and that they need to be willing to accept change.
    However the Great Reset and the current political direction in most places, is about control of humanity, not just a change in economic circumstances. And that changes everything.

    There are some things a person can and should be willing to accept and adapt to.
    Such as SHTF, disasters and other natural occurrences, over which we have no control.
    However, politically inspired events such as; curtailing personal freedoms, rights to own property, determine your own destiny, mask mandates, vaccine mandates, etc., are not acceptable trade offs or things to adapt to and accept.
    The concept of accepting a state of authoritarian control exerted over you by a governmental force, who are using these concepts as a political slogan to further their goals, is unacceptable.

    Prepper’s, of all the types of people out there should strive to be adaptable and accept a change in circumstances. However it should never stop there. Don’t just accept it. Adapt and Overcome that change. Make the circumstances you face, work in your favor.
    But when those circumstances are caused by a government, then you need to look at making a change of your Government officials, to ones who will work for you and not against you.
    When a government tells you just to ” accept” anything, you can bet that it is not in your best interests to do so. Once you “accept’ that one thing, then they just keep adding to the list of what you must “accept”, until you have nothing left.

    Power and Corruption are never satisficed until they have it all; total control and you are their slaves.
    So beware those things which you “accept” and the “expectations that you are willing to lower”, because if government is involved, it will be part of a continuing cycle of oppression.

    1. There are some who would argue that the former administration was more authoritarian than the current administration. I think each administration is authoritarian in their own way. The government likes to control. It’s something they have been doing for over 200 years. Each administration adds to the control. To say that one government or administration is the worst only means that one found the authoritarian of a former administration acceptable to them while they are against the current government push.

      1. I do not recall any recent WH admin/president saying,
        “My patience is wearing thin . . .”
        And using coercion on companies to force employees to get the jab.
        Aka, taking away a persons free will.

        1. ME EITHER…This one is the first one I know of and I’ve been here for along time…My patience is wearing this…what kind of attitude statement is that?….Does he think he can play GOD and get away with it? I know, I know that he was ONLY reading what was written on the teleprompter b/c that is his JOB !!! The other day he said…”Don’t ask me, I just work here” !!! Who’s his boss? ahhhhh…
          Now the mandates are backfiring. More and more thousands are waking up to what is going on and protesting. We are NOT going to do this, this is not our choice and we will NOT participate…I remember that song, Take This Job And Shove It…was that not Eddie Rabbit? Many are saying that today…the vaccines or the job and the job is going. There will be other jobs. Might not be the same pay but they don’t want the injections and it will all be worth it in the end and that is their body and their choice…This has ALWAYS been a “free” country. AMERICA, HOME OF THE FREE AND THE BRAVE !!! It’s still America…People are NOT happy about having the government slice away their freedom little by little…Remember the frog boiling in that water as it got hotter and hotter !!! Poor frog…Are we being treated as such or maybe even guinea pigs….oh my!

      2. Jim Gregg Aww boo hoo President Trump said mean things. He’s not here. Get over it. President Biden is and isn’t helping. In fact he and his admin ARE the issue.
        Broken record playing the same scratchy sound over and over

    2. “So beware those things which you “accept” and the “expectations that you are willing to lower”, because if government is involved, it will be part of a continuing cycle of oppression.”

      Michael,

      I´d say “be aware”, instead of beware. There´s a critical difference there. It´s not a matter of accepting or not, because individually there´s absolutely nothing we can do, it´s like punching a wall or jumping into a turbulent river. We get crunched.

      At most, we can aspire to try and lay low and focus and work what´s under our control, which is ourselves and our immediate surroundings (if much), and hope this works in the situation.

  3. I think its naive of people to not expect to “lower your expectations “. Too many times we get all hyped up about things, only to have a different expectation than what we planned on. That great trip to Hawaii or our new truck or various things that impact our lives usually rarely live up to the hype we thrust upon them. Sometimes its just being unrealistic, while other times its more of a wish that somehow this time it will be different. We need to focus instead on how we can be happy where we are and look at each encounter as an opportunity. Maybe we get a lower expectation but we get a better feeling or a new insight that makes the journey worthwhile. Life is the ultimate journey.

  4. Fabian thanks for your article. I think lowering of expectations can be looked at in different ways.In reply to the article by Jose I mentioned that we as a society have over the past few decades been taught to lower our expectations and I mentioned no score/no winner sports for kids, participation trophies, schools and the military lowering standards to help people succeed. As a result we have lowered the expectations of society in general.

    The other day i stopped by a convenience store to pick up an item or two and I waited, holding the door open for a woman before I entered. When I got to the counter with my items the clerk asked me if the woman had said thank you when I waited and held the door for her. I replied no she didn’t say anything. He replied back, folks just don’t do that anymore and he is right. I grew up in the 50’s & 60’s. It was expected that you held the door open for women and your elders and in turn it was expected that they thank you for doing so. That was just the way it was.

    From the point of view of your article however I have no expectations that the world owes me anything. Everything I have I earned. My parents grew up in the depression and we were taught to work hard, to save for what we wanted and to help take care of those who needed a hand up especially the elderly in our neighborhood. My father was also a decorated WWII wounded warrior having received the bronze star and purple heart for his actions and sacrifice in saving the lives men in his armored division unit in Germany. He taught us to “improvise, adapt & overcome”.

    We are blessed to have been able to retire to our mountain homestead 5 years ago and we continue to work towards self sufficiency growing and preserving as much of our food as we can. We have multiple gardens and started an orchard with apple, peach and pear trees as well as several berry patches. We have also planted hazelnuts, pecans, figs and paw paws. Yet when I plant seeds or bushes or trees even though I hope that they will grow I have no expectation that they will because sometimes despite doing all that you can sometimes they just don’t. One year our main vegetable garden was washed out and and replanted twice before we got our seeds to take hold. We have since expanded to three gardens where we plant our vegetables in cycles from spring through fall.

    I believe that we are entering a fourth turning as defined by Strauss and Howe and that it will last likely until 2030 or a little beyond. If that is correct then we are in for some tough times ahead unlike any we have seen in my lifetime. What that holds for myself, my family and tribe I do not know. In my life I have learned to go with the flow,but not to let the current sweep me away. Do not try to swim against the current for you will surely drown, but use it to your advantage to help you swim diagonally to the safest shore.

    I have seen lean times before and in fact some of the happiest times my wife and I had were when we were dirt poor and barely scraping by because we had each other, family and a few close friends we could count on. My parents as I said grew up in the depression and taught us the life skills they grew up with so we know how to get by in the lean times. Some say this 4th turning will surpass the hard times of the Great Depression and that is probably so. People in general are now soft, most don’t have the life skills my parents generation had and they have come to depend on the government for hand outs. In some cases generations have lived off the government dole.

    If the elites truly seek a thinning of the herd then the coming 4th turning may give them just that as millions in this country alone will be on their own, lost once the government largesse ceases to flow. So it goes.

    As I wrote in response to Jose’s article. “Here at Road’s End Sanctuary we sit and watch, prepare and pray. If it is in God’s plan we hope to make it to the other side this 4th turning and be part of the remnant that just might then help forge a better future. Sometimes you do not win, you just survive and do your best to move on from there.” Never lose faith…

    1. Sawman, Absolutely 100% yes we should adjust, and survive and do our best and move on…We should NEVER lose faith…JESUS TOLD US IN REVELATION THAT WE ARE TO BE ALERT, AWARE, AWAKE, AND TO PERSEVERE. He also told us
      “THE ONES THAT MAKE IT TO THE END WILL BE SAVED” !!! It’s NOT about giving up or giving in but about managing with what you have…It’s about perseverance and the will to live until it’s our time to go…Good comment from you.

    2. Sawman, excellent remarks and mucho thanks for your comments. I agree with you 110% about the fourth turning, it´s a powerful book and theory. The fact that it was written more than 20 yrs ago makes it all the more impressive amd compeling. I just think it´s not “an american prophecy” but a world prophecy (lol).

      I´d also say society has “lowered the bar”, not the expectations. It´s how I see it.

      I get what you´re saying, society has been expecting less and less of its constituents, and I agree with that idea too. We´ve been electing the worst of the worst, the least prepared, it´s no coincidence that everywhere around the world the leaders are mediocre (at best).

      Exceptions are rare and prove the rule, we´re living in the age of mediocrity it seems. Too many advance in life not from merit and hard work, but from being in the right place or kissing the right a$$es. It´s frustrating, but can we do besides keep doing what we do best and being our best? Someday this will change, that´s for sure.

      It also seems we´re gonna have to develop the necessary skills and just plain harden the f*ck up. I´d say “or else”, but that´s not an option – it will have to happen, and it will happen.

      Stay well.

  5. I lowered my own expectations years ago, when I moved out during my divorce. And I haven’t raised them in the interim. That’s by choice. I don’t care to drive a flashy car (my 11-year-old one will do just fine, as long as it runs), and it wouldn’t bother me if I never attend another concert or live sporting event. Heck, even eating at a restaurant isn’t my thing very often. I do have my own goals and aspirations, but no desire to live anything more than a modest lifestyle.

  6. I would change the thought process from “lowering expectations” to changing expectations. Call it what you want but those who are called “preppers” these days used to be survivalists, individualists, homesteaders, you name it. Successful folks who have adopted this lifestyle have very different expectations than the masses would say that you should have. Granted we’ve been spoiled by the instant gratification culture. While I appreciate getting what I want/need immediately, I’m not devastated if I don’t. Redundant systems allow for one thing going out if you can’t immediately get a replacement. I’m going through this exact thing right now. My hot water heater has broken. I expect to get the repair parts today. While we are waiting for me to repair it, we had hot water to clean up with yesterday and today. We won’t suffer if I don’t find the repair parts tomorrow.

  7. I disagree. Lowering expectations can be a dangerous mindset to adopt. Lowering expectations means accepting that the decomposing Status Quo is the new normal. That the Freedoms and Liberties that are being ripped from us, and we should just accept that. Freedoms and Liberties, once taken by an increasingly Authoritarian Elite are never regained. Once taken they are gone for good. Freedoms and Liberties cannot be regained as the Authoritarian Elite will never return that which they’ve seized and stolen. We can only regain our Freedom and Liberty by force of arms.

    Lowering expectations means willingly allowing the yoke of slavery to be placed around our necks. Accepting the Authoritarian Elites views and actions no matter how destructive and oppressive it is.

    Lowering our expectations means allowing ourselves to meekly be herded onto the cattle cars.

    Sic Semper Tyrannus

    1. Bemused Berserker,

      The process that took us (society and civilization in general) to this point has been going on for decades. Now the big wheels are in motion, and this won´t be reversed easily or without much cost, something that no individual or even group can afford. It will take everyone, it´s another process. Eventually we´ll get there.

      I share your opinion and I agree that it will only be regained by force of arms or some revolution. But this won´t happen now. Look at how much we already given up since this plandemic broke out. And not much fight or revolt was see yet, and the few are are being quenched by authorities.

      People are frightened, or complacent. That same process I wrote about in the first line of this reply turned society “soft”, or softer than previous generations that had to contend with much less favorable conditions.

      Either way, there´s still no mood for fight, not yet. But I believe it will come, eventually.

  8. I don’t think of it as lowering my expectations as much as shifting the responsibility for meeting those expectations from “the system” to myself. Isn’t that what prepping is all about?

  9. I do struggle with lowering my expectations, but am willing to “figure it out”. Life lived simply, once accepted, is a joy and I take comfort in these Bible verses-
    Matthew 6:25-34:
    “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

    1. “ Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

      The Bible is pure wisdom. Thanks Fina.

  10. Some commenters are saying that politically inspired events aren’t things one should adapt to and accept. Maybe they think that they have a significant amount of political power, and if that’s the case, more power to them. Do what you think is best.

    Personally, I don’t think I have much political power. I’ve never voted because that would be accepting that one single vote means something, and I have too much of a hard time believing that. I have got involved in the past in single-issue campaigns that others have seen as political, but I saw them mainly as caring for my local area.

    I’ve never been sold on the idea that our current version of government is the best possible. Not that I’m proposing any particular alternative, because I really don’t know of anything better. Just saying that if someone came around and wanted to explain an alternative to me, I’d listen and think about it, because I’m just not convinced that no improvement is possible.

    I’m also pretty sure that there are a lot of other versions of government that would be a lot worse. And that we may well be heading to something a lot worse. It may even come in the guise of being an improvement over what we have.

    And since I don’t think I have much political power, beyond perhaps being able to rally a few neighbours on a single issue, if I see my country’s government going somewhere a lot worse, I just don’t think I can stop it. I think I’ll just have to adapt the best I can.

    Other commenters may think they can do better. But I don’t think I can. And I’m willing to bet there are quite a few other readers of this site that think pretty much as I do.

    1. Doly, that´s a very down-to-earth assessment. I agree, and like you I have no pretension of “making a difference” on my own. I´ve been involved as voluntary with various community-related activities my whole life, from building manager to animal rescue associations, neighborhood watch, homeless assistance, etc.

      That way, I was able to help and improve, if by little, my immediate surrounding, and impact a few lives. This also improves myself (perhaps even more than my community LOL).

      I´ve been politically active too, despite knowing how dirty and corrupt the system is – we must be, if only to occupy a spot that would otherwise be taken by someone with less noble intentions. Complaining is easy, doing is hard.

      But that´s it. Much more than that can be a self-sacrifice for nothing. If consciously I threw my life out and it didn´t make a difference, it was a waste that could have been otherwise turned more productive/positive for my family and the ones around me.

      I´m willing to take part in any movement coming from society that aims for a better world and has some noble, high-aspiring, clear, verifiable principles and aims, even if the odds are small. I may be ignorant, but I try not to be stupid. And I don´t want to be a martyr.

      Stay well.

  11. There is zero requirement for me to not be verbal and state my displeasure with things going on. 1st Amendment

    It is required of me to remain flexible and adjust and check fire when needed for my family and group.

    Politicians would rather we remain silent on “the crisis of the delayed treadmill” but there is an opposite need. This is a man made crisis and can be fixed. It needs to be addressed and fixed. The end

    1. That´s right Matt, it´s not required. Not until they take down 1st Amendment (and they can and will, if they want).

      It´s just that being vocal or expressing displeasure, has never, ever, in the history of humankind, changed anything. Nothing, ever.

      People won´t listen to arguments. Logic? Reason? Good sense? Occasionaly it works, individually. Certainly not TPTB, certainly not today´s society. Not in the current zeitgeist.

      Do you honestly think they´ll listen (much less change) just because we´re displeased? Heck, I can´t even change my wife or my neighbors by “being voca”l, even about small and unimportant matters. And they never changed me either (lol).

      I have no ilusions. And if something doesn´t work, being practical I just change strategy or move to something else. But people will listen to other things, like action. That´s why nothing will change (for better) until that comes.

      Stay well.

      1. Fina…your Matt 6 illistration hits the mark (no, not the Mark! lolol)
        I do feel bad for that well to do gal. Some folks will have to readjust whether they like it or not. I remember Jesus’ parable of the rich guy who had so much, and said he’d build more barns to store his stuff…and that night God took him…and where did all his stuff and hard work go???
        Fabian, great insight here…maybe it’s better we’ve been poor most of our lives…then the expectations
        are not so high to begin with. As for myself, I have had so many high dreams shattered, though we’ve worked very hard for better things, it is almost funny. But even then, I am fully aware that we will probably have to live with less in the future. As has been stated, God supplies all our needs through His riches in Christ Jesus. He’s done a great job up to this point!
        Wow….you sure have to trust God no matter what state you are now in…

        1. Larry, good points but just to make clear, I’m not advocating for anyone to be poor or lay down and play dead. I’m all for prosperity, enjoyment, to live life as full as possible.

          If conditions are good, and there’s plenty, all the better, let’s party and play. But let’s also be the Ant (as in the Ant and the Grasshopper parable) and save something for the bad times.

          But we don’t do it, we’re just humans so we just party and consume for the most part, we avoid pain and sacrifice and try to kick the can down the road (preppers, savers, provident folks do but it’s a minority).

          It’s OK, but when the bill comes due (the winter), we can’t complain. I mean, we can, we complain and point fingers. But that solves nothing. Hard lessons are learnt the hard way I guess.

      2. “People won´t listen to arguments. Logic? Reason? Good sense?”

        they can’t. they don’t know how. they don’t even know such things exist. it’s no longer even taught.

        dead man walking.

  12. What Does “Lowering Expectations” Really Mean?
    .
    It means the elite want everything for themselves and the “heck” with the peons.
    (That’s us, by the way.)

  13. I’ve debated with myself if I was going to post on this article. I’m going to keep this brief, and I’m going to be directing my opinion at USA citizens.

    You like your constitution? Your freedoms? Your rights?

    ..Your lifestyle expectations..? Ahh..! Your expectations are not a guarantee. They are a product of stability. These times are unstable globally.

    Are things political? Of course. Every thing is political. Mainly because all politicians take advantage of confusion and if things aren’t confusing-they make them so! Doubt me?

    Who doesn’t love George Washington? Georgie is the first and only president to raise and lead an army against his own (new) countrymen. https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/whiskey-rebellion
    He was also a huge rye distiller and the new tax law favored big over family farm distillers.

    Your expectations, rights,freedoms and constitution are illusory. As soon as I squared that in my brain my life became simple.

    Lower my expectations? Pfft..! Ha! Done! Having expectations opens me up for disappointment. I don’t allow people I don’t love to disappoint me. Sorry.

    1. Well said…what even are expectations? Mostly I plan to wake up in the morning (hopefully). That’s about it. Everything else is a “variable.” Like evil Boolean logic. A bunch of “if, then, or” equations. If My boss had a bad morning: then he is a jerk most of the day or he finds busy work to do. Oversimplification I know. For me…I do expect certain things in general, but I have learned when humans are involved all bets are off. Things happen, situations change, “roll with” and adjust. If you get pissed off (and I have) it’s called “persistent misery! In the military “Murphy” rules the day! No plan survives first contact! Very apropos! The Marine Corps is a great “teacher” – “Semper Gumby – always flexible!!!!”

      1. “Oversimplification I know.”

        Nah..! I like simple too. You are spot on.

        Lot of marines on this site. No biggie, just an observation.

      2. InTheBooniesTX,
        I have always said the only entitlement I have is getting out of bed in the morning.

        Semper Fi!

  14. JimGregg—with all do respect sir…people cant afford groceries, gas, propane, fuel oil etc all going higher and higher everyday……some are loosing jobs and benefits I think we are past taking trips to Hawaii or a new truck…people are hurting with no end insight…and we should lower expectations …I for one dont buy it

    1. “…and we should lower expectations …I for one dont buy it”

      well in original america no-one expected anyone to give them something, but they did expect to be able to work to advance themselves. so does “lowering expectations” mean not expecting to make any self-efforted progress at all?

  15. “What expectations should we have if we truly, honestly believe the world doesn’t owe us anything?”

    well one of the immediate _consequences_ of such a belief is the idea that we owe the world anything goes away. for example the american bill of rights is predicated that everyone is owed certain considerations by everyone else by virtue of being human. if the considerations are nulled then by default so is the humanity.

    1. So someone missed the John Locke block on civics day. Its called a social contract, you moron. OUR Bill of Rights inspired Lafayette to draft the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. OUR Constitution preserves us from TYRANY. Maybe if you were American, you’d get it. Or if you are, that very same Bill of Rights that you so FREELY castigate is why you can type your idiotic, incel bullshit here. Of course we have expectations of each other- so does any social group of any stripe. Bees. Chimps. Marmosets. Hell, even “ants”. The Constitution doesn’t care how you feel about it, you unseasoned chicken wing. It exists. It is foundational. Don’t like it- fine. Obviously wherever you are from doesn’t have one and you’re using OURS for protection. Otherwise, you’d likely be some political prisoner in a 10 x 10. Take the work of OUR forebears for granted, please. We are a light unto the world, proverbially and prosaically speaking. In the meantime, a little reading you might find useful before you try to drag us down to your level and attempt to pummel us with YOUR experience:

      https://www.age-of-the-sage.org/history/rights_of_man.html
      https://socialexhibition.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/anthropology-social-groups/
      https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/full-text ( no trigger warning on this copy)

  16. One of, if not the best articles I have ever read here. You are right. I have had numerous times in my life where I have born suffering. Sometimes I have coped well and other times I have crashed and burned. But, this crucible of life has forged me into what I hope is a better person: “Bend but don’t break is my mantra.” Is bending lowering my expectations? Like you opined it’s more of a survival instinct to know when I can’t change the situation and adjusting my trajectory.
    Frankly I know my “influence” is limited to the “smaller circles” and I know that as good as it gets. Do my best with those in my “pack.” As for the “power elite” – karma is a stone cold bitch! I do not give them any second thoughts. They are what they are and none of us will change that – basic human nature reigns supreme in all things. My faith and my testimony will sustain me. It will definitely not all be “rainbows and unicorns.” As long as there are three of us that are the same way , I promise you all I will be one of those three. I have learned to pick myself up, dust myself off and get back to living. I have also learned everybody needs a shoulder to lean on from time to time when the journey gets unbearable. A Firefly quote (and badly paraphrased) “when you can’t walk…crawl…when you can’t crawl find someone to carry you. We can all do this.
    Great job putting this together! It maybe a “suck fest,” but we are all in it together! And thanks to Al Gore (who created the Internet) we can share it together in this forum.
    Kudos Sir!

  17. Lastly….I was just a dumb infantry grunt…here is what I told my squad on more than one occasion in so many situations…”I have a straw for each and every one of you…suck it up!”

  18. “What Does “Lowering Expectations” Really Mean”.

    I enjoy a very simple life in Australia on a rural patch of land 50 kilometers from my state capital. I live on a modest (most would think small) self employed income from many small sources – Cattle agistment, occasional farm hand work, selling online, playing in a band and a Sunday market stall. I love doing all of these things – basically stitching together my hobbies to make enough to get by and support my 13 year old son whom I share care with his mother 50/50. I haven’t had a “Boss” for nearly 30 years and I do not rely on government for support.

    A typical day starts with a coffee outside under the porch surveying the morning and I say to myself – This is my first joy of the day. Then my focus for the rest of the day is to get as many small moments of joy as I can. That can be as simple as grilling a couple of steaks outside in the evening and enjoying them with my boy as the sun goes down while he marvels at the colours filling the sky as the evening closes in around us. This cannot be bought or taken away.

    The rest of my day today is as follows: Bake some biscuits in the woodstove, Get a vanilla cake for the weekend done after that, one parcel to get out the door for postage ($37 income for the day) pick up the boy from school, and keep those small moments of joy coming.

    My son is also developing a love of simple pleasures. The other night I asked him what he wanted for dinner and all he wanted was ham beans on toast with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Although e has an XBox he spends a lot of time outside on the land exploring with his dog, loves his trampoline and soccer, and has porridge for breakfast every day.

    It’s not always smooth sailing – In the last few years I’ve had bushfires burn my verandah posts and destroy the rest of the property, my remaining immediate family pass away, marital separation etc. Just the last 24 hours has seen my vehicle smashed with golf ball sized hail stones and 8 hours with the electricity out – who cares, I’m happy. I just smile and yell from my porch to the world, “Is that the best you can do to me”. This morning I’m back on the porch with my coffee and the small joys start rolling in again.

    If a person is awake and aware of every small joy that comes their way then on a personal level it is hard to imagine what a lowering of expectations can mean. This is a mind set. I get it that the article is referring to a bigger societal picture, but I could lose the property and live in a van (or tent) and still achieve the same fulfillment in life as the simple things that give my life meaning can be taken anywhere with me. Subject of course to the continued availability of coffee, beans and occasionally a nice piece of steak.

  19. This is worthwhile topic and discussion. The thing about being able to lower expecations is the life wisdom to never forget the “Lessons of being Low”

    When I was a young man I moved to Lost Angeles and lived on the street there for 6 or 7 months back in the day and it taught me tons before I worked my way up out of it.

    Those experiences “prepped” a mindset that is hugely valuable to this day! Daisy knows what I mean. Anytime you reflect on those times you didnt want if you think of the positive things that were derived from it … then … you have a master level “lowering your expectations” skill already!

    Hone that skill and plan around your abilities.

  20. “Lowered expectations”? Depends on what they are. If we have a Holodomor situation, only some of us will survive and there’s not much we can do about who survives and who dies.

    As for me, I have physical disabilities that kept me out of ’Nam, but also kept me out of most jobs that require physical strength. Oh I know enough to do carpentry, plumbing, wiring, in short everything to build a house, but because of my physical limits, it takes me twice as long to do the job, which contractor wants to hire someone like me? Do mental work, they command, but I have dyslexia which causes me to misread numbers and garble formulae (oh yes, spellcheck is an invaluable aid to writing), so there goes any job requiring numbers. As a result, I’ve lived in poverty most of my life, even homeless at times (I avoided the city homeless camps), but I coped.

    Today I have some money in the bank. Because I had been impoverished most of my life, I don’t know how to spend it. It’s not enough to buy property nor even enough to buy a new car, but more than enough to live on. I also have some prepped supplies, hopefully enough to tide me over until my skills are more than just a hobby but become valuable.

    I look around me at all those heavily in debt. They had high expectations of the good life, and went into debt to get it. They never learned to repair their own houses, nor mend their own clothes, nor repair their own cars. They gambled on the economy continuing on largely unchanged, therefore haven’t prepped either. Will such people be able to cope? Are the lowered expectations aimed at such people?

    Another wrench in the system is the effect the so-called “covid-19 vaccines” are having. Already some estimates say that the jabs have killed as many as 2,000,000 people in less than a year in the U.S. alone. That’s not counting debilitating injuries. When truck drivers can no longer drive, or refuse the jab so they are fired, the supply problems will only get worse. The same with other jobs.

    A final thing to watch is China. It is close to exploding. They have had two disasterous harvests, they can feed only about half their population. Will they resort to war to get more acreage to grow more crops? Where in the world is there enough bountiful land to satisfy their desires? China is preparing for war, will that be a war for “Lebensraum”? Are we prepared for that?

  21. There is a great proverb that I would like to share. It comes from somewhere in the Middle East, and that’s all I can tell you about its origin, but it is this:

    “The dog barks, but the caravan moves on.”

    In my interpretation, this simply means that there will be distractions and perils along life’s journey, but unless it’s a direct and immediate threat the best way to deal with it is to acknowledge it,
    analyze what it means to you, both immediately and in the long term, determine your response to it, and once you have decided that, deal with it and move on.

    We as individuals have little influence over the economy, the government or the Elites and their power grab. We can vote for people who we believe will be honest and will do what’s best for their constituents. We can (and should) prepare as best we can for the shortages and rising cost of living. We can quietly acknowledge what the Elites are up to, and tell them to pound sand, openly or just in our minds.
    Other than that, your quality of life and your happiness depend on you alone.

    It’s all about your mental attitude. Be grateful for what you have, and appreciate it while you have it. If you no longer have it, then try to cultivate an appreciation for what you do have.
    As long as you are still breathing, there is hope for a better tomorrow. If you lose hope, you die.

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