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I recently finished the first book in the trilogy, Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins.  It was thought-provoking in a million ways, but the first thing I wondered was whether or not I could survive if I had no support network, no job, and no help from others.

The plot of the whole book centers around a barbaric annual event that requires 2 kids (ages 10-18) from every “district” to be sent to the main city (“The Capital”) to fight to the death.  The victor is rewarded with wealth.  Yes, that sounds like and is a very depressing plot, but I swear the book is amazing!

Putting aside the actual main point of the book, in the very beginning you simply see how Katniss (the main character) is surviving in a truly tough world.  She is single-handedly supporting her mother and sister since her dad passed away.  She can’t get work the “normal” way, so she uses skills that she was taught early on to hunt and gather what her family needs to survive.

I personally have hardly any hunting skills since I’ve only shot a rifle at cans twice in my life.  I also don’t know what wild plants are edible or not unless they look specifically like a fruit or veggie I’ve seen on an aisle at Kroger or in a family garden.  Lastly, I don’t even look at buying gold as an investment, so I wouldn’t even have precious metals on my side.  In short, if I was in the same position as Katniss, I would probably die of starvation or accidental poisoning if I relied on those skills.

Since I did want to write this post, and I didn’t want to admit that I’m basically useless in dire circumstances (even the best personal finance software couldn’t help me), I came up with a list of my skills and their uses in a post-apocolyptic world.  Here’s what I have to survive:

  • Good Karma – I go out of my way for others regularly, so hopefully some of the people I have helped wouldn’t mind feeding me for a little while if I needed some temporary support.
  • Imagination – In a world with so little luxury, I could be a story-teller or writer and hopefully be paid as an entertainer at least.
  • Stubborness – If a loved one or myself was starving, I am sure that I’d figure out a way to get some food one way or another.  I do know how to fish and I could work up a few basic traps.  I’d just have to learn with time to get proficient.
  • Gift of Gab – I am chatty.  I could network with enough of the village to figure out what side jobs are available.
  • General Intelligence – I could learn whatever skills necessary to complete the side jobs that pop up.
  • Common Sense – I would need this to protect myself from bad situations or people while I try to get by.
  • Luck – I do seem to be lucky, so maybe a little of that could help me out along the way.

Do you think you could make it?  What skills would you use?