Preparedness Lessons from the Lost in Space Reboot
I remember watching very little TV growing up. I know I’m dating myself, but I only distinctly remember three things: the assassination of JFK, the moon landing and watching Lost in Space. I was a little young for the more “adult” space drama of Star Trek, but LIS was more than sufficient for my imaginative mind.
Of course, like many bright young kids, this show drove me to aspire to be an astronaut. Despite the fact that NASA scientists deplored the on-screen “magic” of the original, the Netflix reboot tries to make amends with that fact, while keeping the heart of the show intact.
Obviously, I didn’t become an astronaut. But, the heart of that show remains with me. This new reboot made me realize why I loved it so much. It’s a show about family. There’s plenty of adventure, too. It’s also largely about survival and the rewards of preparedness.
Today, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts on what this show can teach you and your family about preparedness and survival – without spoilers – so that you can watch the show with your family with a similar lens. In a month or so, once everyone’s had a chance to watch, we’ll go in depth on some of the many survival scenarios we witness in the show.
Here are the major lessons from Lost in Space:
#1: You Can Never Practice Enough.
Before the Robinson family officially gets lost in space, each member of the family (and everyone in space) had to undergo rigorous training and testing to qualify for the mission.
Yet, even in space, the Robinsons continue to practice, train, test themselves, and simulate scenarios.
Our culture has come to expect instant gratification for everything. That’s why many view everyday testing and practice as a burden. Getting a driver’s license is one good example. Many think that once the test is over and passed, the practice is over. Sometimes, all it takes is a change in mindset. The new driver can choose to view all their post-licensing driving as practice or wait for the day when you’re unprepared for an aggressive driver or an obstacle in the road. It’s always better to be in a preparedness mindset – even in things that aren’t directly related to a crisis.
#2 – Never Stop Learning, But Don’t Try to Be an Expert in Everything.
This second lesson is related to the first but is just as important. Not only did each of the Robinsons learn how to survive, but each has skills they’ve learned that contribute to the whole family’s survival. There’s a doctor, an engineer, a Navy SEAL, a writer, and more.
Through the course of the show, the family members (along with other survivors) learn from each other, exchanging their expertise. Growing and learning are critical for survival. They’re also critical for rebuilding civilization, if that’s what’s required of us. But clearly it’s too large of a task for one or even a handful of humans.
It’s impossible and not desirable to be an expert in everything. What’s more important is who you surround yourself with in a survival situation, what you can learn from those people, and how you can work together to solve problems that arise in a crisis.
#3 Be Prepared for Curveballs – and Failure.
I realize that Lost in Space is a TV show that is intended to have lots of action and drama. Sure, not every survival scenario will be riveting and action-packed. But you can count on the unexpected happening. And you can also count on your “foolproof plans” to fail.
This is the nature of our reality: it’s impossible to predict what happens next. It’s much easier to do so when we’re watching TV and the director leaves us hints. But, God, director of our reality, does not often reveal his designs. Most disasters strike with little or no notice.
We must prepare mentally, physically and spiritually for this reality. Things will go wrong. A cache of food you stashed en route to your bug-out location might be stolen. You might realize you forgot to re-stock your expired batteries after the pair in your flashlight dies. You might come across an hungry predator or opportunistic mob with no way to defend yourself. These are just a few things that can happen.
Try as we might to imagine all possible contingencies and prepare for them, some things will always catch us by surprise.
In these moments, it’s critical to stay calm, remember our preps, practice and training, and find a way to improvise a new solution. Work together with the experts you’ve surrounded yourself with, and never give up.
#4 Guard Your Trust, But Also Know When to Give it.
I won’t go into any detail to avoid spoiling now, but every TV show has a villain. Classical villains are manipulative and untrustworthy. In a crisis situation, many good people can become manipulative and untrustworthy out of self-interest. We all want to survive, but some are more willing than others to throw away the codes of our civilization if they think it’s the only way to survive.
It’s important to have your guard up in survival situations. Strangers obviously need to earn your trust. But don’t overlook strange behavior in your own group, too. I caution against paranoia and unfounded accusations, but no one’s trust should be unconditional. Love, yes, trust, unfortunately no.
However, to avoid taking a deep dive into cynicism, you must also be willing to dispense with your trust in a crisis. Failure to do so can often hold a prepper group back in critical situations. Remember, you prepped, trained and practiced with your group. When lives are on the line, it’s often better to put your faith in them than let them know (directly or subtly) that you don’t think they’re capable of whatever survival task is at hand.
I hope you’ll watch this show with these themes in mind. That way, this fun bit of entertainment can also be educational for you and your family.
If you’re watching the show, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what it’s taught you about preparedness and survival. In a month or so, we’ll follow up with a deeper analysis of specific scenes and plots, once everyone who wants to has had a chance to watch.
If you need advice about any step in your preparedness journey, our advisors are standing by. Just call 866.229.0927 9am - 9pm EST, Mon – Sat, and we’ll be happy to help.
Stay alert and safe out there, friends! And remember to practice!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply