What if Your Money Disappeared Tomorrow?

At any one time, I’m following 2 or 3 television shows. Three hours of weekly TV is plenty, so I try to stick to that limit.

Right now, I happen to be watching Top Chef: Just Desserts (just finished with Top Chef: DC), the latest season of Flashpoint, and Discovery’s The Colony.

A “Controlled Experiment”

The Colony is marketed as a controlled experiment (translation—reality show with a bit of truth) that attempts to replicate the effects of a worldwide viral outbreak. Said outbreak kills off a good portion of the population and renders typical things like electricity, water, food, money, law & order, etc. useless.

Basically, this group of people is dumped in an abandoned town in Louisiana and told to find a way to survive for 50 days. It gets primitive (think rotting pig carcasses—that was a fun episode…).

The season is set for a glorious finale next week. Tensions are high as food runs short and intruders continue to steal precious supplies.

There’s a recurring theme that a lot of the participants echo through their off-camera interviews, and that’s a clear sense of appreciation and humility.

They have learned, most in less than a few days at the colony, lessons about their own mortality, inability to control certain outside forces, and the need to pay attention to the things they take for granted.

I’ve explored a similar kind of doomsday scenario before, but at least you could keep your stuff. What if everything went away? What happens when you’re truly left with nothing?

A Bad Economy

That’s a lesson in degrees of “having” and “not having,” and appreciating what you do have to work with. It’s something a lot of people are realizing in this tough job market.

“Needs” become “wants” become “luxuries.” Income levels that seemed like poverty years ago can now sustain families, albeit with effort. “I don’t have any money” has become “I have enough to live.”

I hope we’ve all learned valuable lessons form the experience. Because if we happen to end up like the inhabitants of The Colony, money won’t take us very far.

Survival skills, interpersonal skills, but most importantly—a keen ability to adapt—seem to be the keys to success.

How have you stretched and flexed to accommodate changing circumstances?

*Bonus: How do you think you’d do on “The Colony?”

Photo by klinslis