A Survival Lesson from the Peabody Ducks
A Survival Lesson from the Peabody Ducks avatar

This week, I have been staying at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida. I love Florida. I love the beach, the climate and especially palm trees, so this business trip has been a pretty good one. One of the reasons I think I love the tropics so much goes back to my childhood, reading stories of Robinson Caruso and Treasure Island. Seeing sea birds and the green palms immediately sends me back to a place of adventure and wonder.

As I sat in the lobby of the Peabody, a well-known routine starts to occur. This routine got me thinking about survival situations and preparedness in general – specifically, I started contemplating the mentality of survival.

Every day at the Peabody, there is a red carpet duck parade, where the Duck Master leads a small group of ducks to the central fountain in the hotel for the day. In the afternoon, they roll out the red carpet again and the Duck Master leads the ducks back up to their penthouse suite (Yes, these ducks actually have their own penthouse suite in the hotel)!

I had heard of this routine, it’s world-renown, but I had never witnessed it personally, so I wanted to share this quick video I shot of the event… it’s quite the spectacle, with spectators watching the ducks march along the red carpet.

What got me thinking is this: In many survival situations, people assume that the Duck Master (i.e. any government or relief agency throughout the world) will swoop in and lead them away to some oasis on a red carpet parade – just like the ducks. People have such blind faith in their governments that they honestly believe this fantasy. However, as evidenced by Hurricane Katrina, and other tragedies in the world, this fantasy rarely, if ever, comes true – that’s the simple truth and the reality.

We are trained, from kindergarten (here in the US) to stay in line, follow the leader, don’t ask questions, they (the proverbial THEY) have it under control, they have the best in mind for you and the list goes on and on. This training is so ingrained that most people never think to question it – it seems like a simple fact of life and is very easy to follow the duck in front of you. All you have to do is be compliant and keep putting one duck foot in front of the other, until you reach your “promised land.”

However, sometimes, following along with the parade of ducks isn’t the best choice or decision. You see, in a survival situation, you can’t be sure that your “Duck Master” will be leading you to the oasis fountain in the middle of a grand hotel, or leading you home to your penthouse. He may, unawares to you, be leading you to the kitchen so you can be tonight’s main course of Duck L’orange!

Of course, there are times when you should consider going along. However, bear in mind that most (Katrina proved this point in very tangible ways) of the other ducks will be ignorant of their choices, demanding in their hour of need and will turn to animals in the midst of chaos and suffering. This in turn will create a downward spiral of events, taking the best of people and putting them in lose-lose situation that ultimately brings out the worst in people. The supposed oasis turns into a living hell – just ask people that followed the ducks to the Super Dome in New Orleans.

So with this post, I have another question for you. Will you fall in line with the all the other ducks? Or do you prefer to be a thinking human being, in control of your own decisions, in control of your own destiny and in control of your own faculties?

If you want to be the latter, but aren’t exactly sure how to accomplish this, book mark this site and come back often. We will be sharing tools, techniques, mentalities, and survival strategies that can help you build your own custom survival guide and disaster preparedness plan.

Please add your comments to this post. Ask questions, question authority, and decide to walk where you want to walk. Don’t be a duck, stand up and be a Human!

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