Free "Bear! Bear!" Essay Sample
Leadership is discovered, not learned. This is how I came to understand leadership during a local community camping event.
Years ago, my family and I were invited to a community-wide camping event in Montana. Summer was in. The mood was of relaxation, vacation and going out. In run-up to camping day, families gathered around dinner. Everyone had just something to say, something to express his happiness (or worry) about. Animals kept coming and going in nightly conversations. Frightening stories about grizzly bears kept floating about conversations. Although animal conversations almost always ended in laughter, some felt uneasy, particularly little kids whose scare did not simply go away with affected laughs, laughs only kids, like me, can find out.
The day came. The sun was up all shiny. The sky was speckless. The horizon was promising but at closer look, for whoever cared to set his eyes a little bit, something seemed menacing. Or so I saw. Dad and mom were going back and forth, in and out, loading our stuff into our SUV. "John," yelled dad. "Come on over, here, give us a hand!" I used to be my parents' hand.
Cars marched in line toward our planned destination. A secluded place had been chosen, one which was said to offer plenty of salmon – and bears.
The spot was really beautiful. Pines converged creating a canopy above. A silver, fresh stream was close by, winding as if in response to a conductor's stick. For a moment, everyone seemed stunned by beauty. Mother Nature, whispering. Then, a shout, a call – for help. A little girl. Julia, I recalled. Everybody was fumbling for an answer.
There. The bear. Huge. There. Julia. She was just unassuming, unaware, and oblivious. The bear was approaching steadily and Julia was chasing a salmon which jumped off water and consumed Julia in her chasing.
At Mother's Nature footsteps, I could hear Julia's giggles against bear's roar. I was not first to see. I was not first to be stunned. But, of all, I was first to step forward.
Probably, if I could just draw bear's attention away from Julia, I could make her look around and see what was happening. Thoughtless, I ran across, between Julia and bear, and stood still. I was assertive. I waved to Julia. The bear stood still. Julia was about to give a very loud cry but only after I had stood still she restrained herself. My presence and stillness assured her. There was no reason I would feel I was particularly courageous. No one asked I should step forward. No one imbibed in me how I should act in danger. I learned, probably, by sheer observation that fears spring up only when we give way to fear. I did not understand grown-up fears. I was not afraid of animals, even big ones. That started with a small cat all boys ran away from. I decided one day I should not and stood still. I simply learned to dismiss fear.
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