My buddy Shawn sent me an email recently, reminding me of a trip the two of us took back in the day. This image is from that trip, the two of us are on a mountain top glassing the other side of the valley and determining if it's worth moving over that way.


We decided it was worth a trip and that Shawn would cross the valley and I would stay in the area where this image was taken. My plan was to scout the surrounding terrain and simultaneously provide overwatch for Shawn as he moved over to the other side and into unfamiliar territory.

It turns out providing overwatch was a good idea. As Shawn got on the upper slopes across from me I spotted a very large female grizzly with cubs. Shawn was in a bind as he couldn't see the bears and the bears couldn't smell him as he was downwind and the two of them were moving towards each other. I was approx one mile away and our handheld radios were working intermittently due to the distance, it was a tense few minutes while I vectored him away from the sow, it all ended well of course with the sow being oblivious to the modern marvels of communications technology.

By itself and with more detail this could make for an interesting camp fire story but I like to consider this story as representative of life at times. At some point in our day to day, and through no fault of our own, we can become completely unaware of what is occurring around us, meanwhile an outside observer can have excellent clarity on the issue. Hopefully the outside observer acts on this clarity and informs us of their observation before we run head first into the problem.

I acted on what I saw and for that Shawn managed to duck what could have been a nasty problem. That was a no-brainer and an easy to act on scenario, my commentary saved him in a sense. The real test of a person's motivations/character in day to day life is when the observation and commentary can cause friction between both parties. Do you see the problem but not act on it because you know it will cause trouble or do you put forth your observations and absorb the friction because you know it will cause good change. Which decision you make is a good indication of character.

In our highly sensitive, overly apologetic, politically correct culture it's not common for someone to call someone else out with a 'hey, I think you need to rethink that' or 'dude, you've lost perspective' or how about 'you know what you're doing is wrong, so why are you doing it'. There are times it needs to be done and I do my fair share, better to say what needs to be said than watch the grizzly bear do what it does.


John F said...

I prefer critical overwatch to being mauled by a bear 99 times out of 100.

Oh, no....on second thought all 100 times.

Bob said...

MMmhhhh what else does this remind one of?

Shaun Taylor said...

It reminds me of a few instances, in most of them I would have had the ability to reach out and take care of things. ;-)