Overcoming Society’s Hardships

Beyond your own problems with yourself and others, society can often be aligned against you.

While this won’t directly affect your intimate relationships, it can create severe and consistent conflicts with the rest of the culture you’re in.


If you have less than a month’s worth of expenses left, start planning to move:
  • Try to sell as many possessions as you can, then give away anything that’s relatively valueless to reduce your “footprint”.
  • Make sure you’re extremely organized to cut down on the stress of moving.

To survive you must have a means to sleep, eat, and hold things:
  • Sleeping simply requires a flat-enough surface that’s somewhat soft, though you can adapt to anything within a few weeks.
  • Eating requires getting enough nutrients, though storing and preparing food can often be challenging with limited access to electricity.
  • Storage will be your worst challenge, though measurably less if you’re located in the same region for a while.

How far you downsize and where you move depends on a few limits:
  1. How many people are you providing for?
    • If you’re by yourself, you can do anything, but supporting a spouse and small children vastly cuts your options.
  2. How much stuff do you have?
    • More specifically, you must specify which items can go to storage and which items must stay readily available.
  3. Who can you rely on, and for what?
    • Even if someone won’t let you spend the night, they’re often willing to hold onto your things temporarily.
    • But, since you’re asking a favor, make plans to repay them later or lose their friendship.

Without couch-hopping, the easiest solution is a recreational vehicle:
  • The larger the RV, the harder it is to drive.
  • Make sure you can reliably move it (e.g., a truck with a fifth-wheel attachment, inflated tires).
  • Many public campgrounds and national parks have extremely low rates.
    • If you need, you can rent hookup spaces once every few days.
  • Inside the RV, you’ll usually need to store items away from where you use them.
  • Hang extra storage racks on inner cabinet doors.
  • If you’re not constrained to a location, travel with the weather.
  • Since they take up too much space, avoid any round containers.
  • Manage your food more carefully:
    • Tightly pack your fridge and freezer.
    • Buy and prepare all your groceries in advance.
    • Freeze your food from room temperature to let it expand, then store in freezer-safe and microwave-safe containers.
    • Use resealable bags whenever possible for both food and drinks.

The second-easiest, and most versatile, is living in your car or a tent:
  • You will still meet all your needs, but not in one place.
  • If you get to choose your car, pick an inconspicuous earth-tone color with as roomy a model as you can get.
  • For your fixed address with others, use a PO box coupled with a storage unit.
    • Ask a friend to take your mail and as the address for any background checks.
    • If you can’t afford a PO box, use “General Delivery” as the address and the post office will still take it in your name.
  • If you plan to use electricity, you’ll either need to frequently replace your car battery or get a generator.
  • Cooking requires creativity.
    • Shape aluminum foil and cook on the exhaust manifold.
    • Boil water with a heat source, then store it in a high-quality Thermos all day.
    • Unless you get a generator, any electric cooking will be very low-powered.
  • Stay hygienic.
    • Use a chain-store gym.
    • Swim at a beach or lake.
    • Use truck stop showers.
    • Keep a pack of unscented baby wipes available.
  • Sleep in your car or a tent.
    • Keep everything well-organized to use every cubic inch.
    • Adjust your seat and steering wheel for maximum comfort.
    • Though lumbar support helps long-term driving, it can make sleeping uncomfortable.
    • Consider padding or seat cushions.
    • Since the airbags can activate, don’t set your feet on the dashboard.
    • Since you’re dealing with limited insulation, stay warm by keeping tons of extra blankets and socks.
  • Always have enough clothes to last a day and a half.
    • Seven pairs of socks, two outfits, a hooded rain jacket, and extra underwear.
    • Since you’re probably still job-seeking, keep your interview outfit hanging unwrinkled in storage.
  • Use public internet from fast-food restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, retail stores, office supply stores, and public libraries.
    • If you can, use a VPN to stay safe.
    • Look in Foursquare‘s comments section to find Wi-Fi passwords.
    • Most companies keep their Wi-Fi on after closing time.
  • Keep moving around to avoid alarming residents or store owners.
    • In your car, sleep in parking lots in middle-class areas without private patrols.
    • Stay in a bank parking lot to have cameras safely watching you.
    • Try to avoid anywhere that would draw attention.
      • Ironically, your car is most suspicious in a parking lot if it’s by itself, so park with other cars if possible.

Living on the streets is about as difficult as it gets:
  • Sleep uninterrupted during the day at parks or beaches.
  • If you don’t have access to a computer or phone, use a public library.
  • Never stop job-seeking.
  • If you must beg, offer to work and take them up on their offer.

Never regard your homelessness as a disability:
  • If you want to, your “home” can be as small as you want.
  • You have the advantage of being incredibly mobile, which means you can plant yourself where you can thrive the most.
  • Your freedom is so unlimited that many people make transience a lifestyle on purpose, including many religious leaders.


Being in prison or jail is a psychological battle more than anything else:
  • You’re receiving punishment because you at least appear to have broken the law.
  • You’ll be surrounded by the least-agreeable people in society, who also have broken the law.

From the moment you’re arrested, the police and law enforcement are not on your side:
  • Tour best chance of survival comes through compliance with the prison guards alongside making friends on the inside.

Until the sentencing is finalized, don’t panic:
  • Sometimes your lawyer may find a loophole that could get you out of anytime served.
  • The sentencing in many Western nations is a bit more lenient than it sounds:
    1. The sentence will be given for a set time (e.g., 5 years).
    2. As soon as someone is admitted, their sentence is cut in half (e.g., 2.5 years).
    3. Typically, people will receive ~1.2 additional days for each day of good behavior (e.g., 45.45% of the 2.5 years, or 22.72% of the 5 years).
    4. Anytime before that, the convict may be eligible for parole to bring in new convicts.

Making friends is a different experience:
  • If your imprisonment was unfair, expect more mixed reactions from the guards and your cellmates.
  • You will be heavily defined by your charges/conviction among your cellmates.
    • You carry more weight with significant offenses (e.g., murder) than less important offenses (e.g., petty theft, drunk driving).
    • If you’ve been charged with something like child endangerment or pedophilia, expect no grace (and possible threats to your life) unless you have a legitimately good story (which must either be true or impossible to disprove).
  • To avoid arguments, stay out of frivolous conversations with other captives (e.g., politics in government, street, and prison) and focus on topics that sharpen everyone (e.g., spirituality, history, business/legal issues).

If you’re a nice person, dial it back:
  • Trust is scarce while incarcerated, with everyone.
  • Usually, nice people will often be branded by inmates as pedophiles.

Do not take your incarceration personally:
  • Beyond the moral violations you may have committed, prison is partly a system-wide mechanism to separate unpleasant people from the rest of society, partly a fear-maintenance system for most of society, and (sometimes) partly a means of fulfilling a private/public organization-sized contract.
  • Most legal systems make money per-day for prison terms, so your sentencing is likely to maximize the amount of money the prisons can make, with probation/parole granted to free up space for other convicts.

By keeping yourself compliant and relatively unimportant, you’ll avoid most of the misery that could injure or kill you:
  • Most sentencing is framed to cut down by half as soon as the sentence is delivered (e.g., 10 years becomes 5), then reduced further from behaving well (e.g., 1.2 additional days of time served for good behavior, making the sentencing closer to 2 years actually served).
  • Find a straightforward daily routine to pass the time, and consider self-improving with what you can while you’re waiting out your sentence.

Stay busy, even when you don’t have much to do:
  • Spend time reading just about anything, since it expands your understanding and can often give answers to many domains of thought you never thought you had.
  • Find small skills you can build that interest you (e.g., diction, throwing cards, philosophy).
  • Whenever you can, get out: go to the yard, medical, the library, anywhere you’re allowed to go.
  • Whatever you do, do not stay in your cell more than you have to.
    • Staying in your cell can provoke more anxiety and stress.

The prison guards may try to antagonize you:
  • They may cut your shower or yard time off early, give you responsibilities you don’t want, cut off food rations, or physically harm you.
  • If you get angry, they’re trying to make you angry, which can get you more time, and often in solitary confinement.
  • Take it in stride, exercise in your cell, and tend to your thought life (especially your faith).

As much as you can, stay in touch with the outside:
  • When you can, write letters to everyone:
    • Loved ones
    • Ministers in your faith
    • Organizations that send literature to prisoners
    • Courts, regarding the unfairness of your trial
  • If you have phone call privileges, stay in touch with everyone willing to talk with you.
    • Ask how they are doing, since your life is boring and awful compared to theirs and will eventually drag them down with the misery you’re experiencing.
    • If you need emotional support, you need to find it with your friends on the inside.
  • Your letters and calls will be intercepted, but by writing you exert your will upon the world.
  • If you get angry, they’re trying to make you angry, which can get you more time, and often in solitary confinement.
  • Take it in stride, exercise in your cell, and tend to your thought life (especially your faith).

Don’t be afraid to complain to the guards about legitimate issues:
  • File grievances about everything that can be an issue: frayed wires, dripping water, broken plumbing, etc.
  • Prison administrators hate paperwork, so your official complaints give them more work, and they may even release you early just to get rid of you.

Criminal background

People who have forgiveness issues will heavily project their actions onto you:
  • Your existence will make them generally uncomfortable and force inner conflicts about people completely unrelated to your situation.

They will have a harder time justifying your opinions proportional to how much time you’ve stayed away from legal conflicts:
  • After about 10 years, you can put most of the situation behind you, but you’ll see consequences in as little as a year.
  • However, expect that all involved and allied governments will mistreat and reject you for the rest of your life.
  • At the same time, depending on your conviction, a country that hates the country that sentenced you might have some use for you, so expand your options.

If you’ve spent time incarcerated, you’ll likely have trouble with re-entry:
  • The culture outside of prison will be a shock for months.
    • Do what you can, and focus on each day.
    • Take any help you can get, but avoid anything that might appear to be illegal or pseudo-legal.
    • If you’re on probation/parole, don’t even think about doing anything that might appear illegal or barely legal.
  • Take the routine you had when locked up and find a simple rhythm irrespective of what the rest of the world is doing.

Try to find groups that help with re-entry:
  • People have been through your journey before, but you have to seek them out.
  • You’ll likely face plenty of distrust from others, and you’re responsible to demonstrate that you have morally changed, even if you don’t earn their trust.

Not all cultures see incarceration the same:
  • Generally, more corruption means more people are unfairly imprisoned, which makes the rest of society not take it as seriously.
    • Political corruption in the USA is relatively small compared to other nations, so a higher percentage of people in prison deserve to be there.
  • Carefully consider your long-term lifestyle decisions about moving to any country in light of your background.
  • everything, so all criminal cases are part of your public reputation forever barring a few very specific situations (e.g., juvenile cases).


Expect people to prejudge you:
  • Everyone has a bias, and you might just be unlucky in your culture of origin:
    • Born the wrong skin color for that country (i.e., a minority race).
    • Born into the wrong family (i.e., a lower social class).
    • Born with the wrong brain (i.e., neurodivergent like autism or schizophrenia or mental disabilities).
  • Expect prejudice to follow you everywhere.
    • Often, moving to another culture will migrate you into a different kind of prejudice because you’re an outsider.
  • Learn to accept it.
    • Just like you, everyone has the right to misjudge.
    • The only thing you can do is focus on improving yourself and ignoring them.
    • Find a simple way to defuse the conversation, either with something that calmly dismisses their attitude or humor that breaks the tension.
  • Other people often see your mistreatment, even if they don’t say anything.
    • Other people witnessing the event are often either quietly trying to survive (and therefore not speaking up) or don’t know what to believe.
    • Frequently, if you demonstrate above-average moral character, they’ll quietly support you.

Cut down on bigotry by redefining yourself:
  • Age discrimination is usually by younger people, mostly because older people were once young.
  • Race discrimination usually establishes itself upon skin color, but sometimes on family background.
    • Most of the time, it’s between whites and non-whites, but often blurs into cultural aspects as well.
    • Use a nickname that’s similar to the culture you’re trying to integrate with, or consider legally changing your name to something commonplace (e.g., “Ahmad” in a Middle-Eastern country).
    • In the USA, any Spaniard race of any amount is “Hispanic or Latino”.
  • Gender discrimination is usually either against males or LGBetc.
    • Given the taboo nature of asking sexual preference, you can easily claim “asexual” or “trans non-specific”, then revert back to heterosexual as needed.

There’s never anything wrong with sincerity about your unfair treatment, but never condemn or attack others:
  • Directly assaulting people, verbally or physically, creates one of several forced conditions:
    1. That person meant well and failed, so you’re causing harm to them that you shouldn’t.
    2. That person didn’t realize how much they hurt you, but you’ve now made them an enemy, and they’ll attack you back.
    3. That person was legitimately malicious, but they’ll twist your reaction against you.
    4. If that person is unbelievably patient and slow to react, they might avoid assaulting back.
  • The only way you can get out of your situation is to creatively circle around the people who harm or oppress you, not attack them directly.
  • If you feel compelled to attack anything, be harsh on the problem (such as the ideas to justify the belief) and soft on the person or people.
  • Human nature is extremely fickle, so they likely don’t realize how much they’ve hurt you, and may even become your ally in a decade if the situation plays out correctly.

No matter what you do, you will make enemies, but don’t be afraid of them:
  1. They must be motivated to hurt you.
  2. They must be able to hurt you.
  3. They need a conviction, often moral, to follow through with it.
  4. And, most importantly, they must believe they can get away with it.


Compared to many other things, your possessions aren’t that important:
  • If nobody gets hurt, you and those you love are fortunate.
  • What you’re likely more upset about than losing your possessions is the feeling that someone can violate your boundaries so inconsiderately.

You can’t do anything about what you’ve lost, so research insurance for the future and learn to forgive and release.


It doesn’t really matter if it’s religious or political, persecution is when a large group is unfairly abusing and punishing a person whose ideas don’t match that group.

Now, with information technology, the persecution can come through a social media mob or smear campaign.

There are only a few ways a large organization can abuse you:
  • The lightest form of it is through trying to publicly shame you, often via propaganda.
    • They’ll often lie about you, typically with clever half-truths that require in-depth explanation to unravel.
    • In a social media mob, this is the most likely thing they’ll do.
  • When their propaganda and shame doesn’t work, they’ll use physical and psychological abuse to break down your willpower.
    • In a social media mob and very powerful government, this will usually involve death threats or demonstrations of violence.
  • At the most extreme, they’ll publicly kill people to make an example to others.
    • However, because of the media attention, modern tyrants tend to quietly send people to “re-education centers” and torture people into converting, then kill them if they don’t.

As much as possible, try to stay alive:
  • Barring a Christian faith that treats persecution as a blessing, surviving is crucial to fighting back.
  • Even if they torture or dismember you, your life is still incredibly valuable, and it’s worth holding onto.
  • Find others who share your values, and learn guerilla tactics that can help you stand a chance.
    • Even when you’re incarcerated together, you have a chance to collude against the authorities if you’re patient and creative.
  • The most significant means of fighting back is raising awareness to everyone else about the injustices.
    • If people have been heavily indoctrinated or are terribly afraid, your ideas will be a trend that may only become powerful after you’ve become a martyr for the cause.

If you have the means, flee the country:
  • Your culture isn’t how the entire world lives, and the struggles won’t stop until you find peace.
  • While you may feel you’re abandoning those you love, nothing says you have to stay away from them.
    • Consider your flight as a type of “regrouping” so you can safely extract others from the tyranny.

No matter how much everyone is persecuted, justice still matters:
  • When a government does things wrongly, they stand against truth and justice even if they successfully hide what they do.
    • An organization that performs evil rarely has devoted and fanatical followers compared to organizations that do good in the world, so they don’t last as long.
  • If you believe in anything after this life, give over control to God as you know him, then push forward in what you know to be true.

Physical destruction/loss

Whether a disaster was manmade or natural, it’s utterly devastating to experience the loss of your home or all your possessions:
  • It’s even more difficult if you’ve only lost a significant chunk of your things because it’s easy to imagine the rest going just as quickly.

The trauma will likely follow you for years, so accept the shock as a part of your life for a while.

Try to rebuild, and consider insurance to protect yourself the next time it may happen.

Focus on the present moment and individual tasks, and you’ll get through it in time.

Surviving nature

Often, being stuck in nature is more terrifying than it may appear:
  • Thousands of years ago, people lived in the untamed wild without any technology at all.
  • While many plants and animals are hostile to humans, most of them are simply trying to survive like you, and they don’t tend to attack unless they’re suffering their own hardships.

Most of your survival will come through education, creativity, and experience, so try to find others you can work with to dramatically increase your chances.


In many ways, surviving a war is a combination of witnessing a mass murder and a manmade disaster at the same time.

Irrespective of whether you were military or a civilian, you will probably have trauma about it for decades:
  • Beyond other war survivors, nobody else will fully comprehend what you’ve experienced.
  • Even worse, people who don’t know will often portray you or your enemies (depending on who “won”) as heroic.

To prevent the trauma from destroying you, find creative ways to build the experiences you keep re-living into something useful.

As much as possible, try to put the experiences behind you:
  • If your home was damaged, rebuild it or move.
  • If you were in a foreign war and have trouble with others’ opinion of it, go somewhere you’ll be accepted.