September 2009
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The Old Ones

It would be nice to think that our tribe and clan survived because of their native cunning and raw determination.  That's true, to a point.  Sheer willpower was needed to survive the long dark.  There's people who had better resources and skills who failed to survive because they couldn't take the pressure.  I can think of half a dozen children's stories that are nothing more than cautionary tales about people who lacked the mental preparation to survive.  While things have gotten easier, we sometimes still have the odd person who decides they can't take it any more and disappear into the wilderness forever. Willpower aside, someone had to have the skills to survive without all the technology of the past. Those people were the Old Ones. They brought life back to all people, directly or indirectly, by keeping their skills alive.  They were the keepers of the ancient ways of survival. They didn't use, or maybe I should say rely on, the old tech.  Not even before the long dark.  They were the people who, for whatever reasons, farmed using only their own muscles and that of their livestock.  They either chose, or were forced, to live their lives in a simpler way.  When the end came, they were impacted far less than most because they already knew how to live on what you could make or grow yourself.  They already lived in communal groups where people depended on each other for survival.  When the dark came, they had less food, they had less livestock, and times were hard.  What they didn't have to do is learn the basics of survival in the new world.  That made all the difference. Most everyone alive today owes their existence to one of these original groups of Old Ones.  Sometimes its not a single group, but several groups, all with different skills that bound together.  This is the case where we live.  Some knew the ways of livestock better and others the growing of crops.  It was enough to survive.  In the old cities, people didn't have these skills.  Those that made the tech of our personal systems didn't need to know how to plow a field or make a canoe from birch bark or cedar.  When the end came, they died because the skills they had no longer had any immediate meaning.  When you need to eat, you need to know how to hunt or grow something, not how to make a vid.  Most of the people on earth was found to be wanting when judgement day came.  In the end, as the bible says, the meek really did inherit the earth.

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