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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Lions and the Antelope...

The Lions and the Antelope…

October 12th, Day 24 in the Mission Oaks Hospital.

OK, back to the deep / self discovery type thoughts. I want you to imagine for a minute that you are watching the Discovery Channel. It’s the episode where a pack of lions are stalking a herd of antelope. Now Imagine, a weathered voice with a thick British accent explaining the following;

“The pack of lions sits in prey in the long grass, evaluating the herd of antelope, looking for the weakest antelope, the low hanging fruit. They are spread out and seem to be fully alert to each other’s whereabouts. Once they have identified the weakest of the antelope – on the perimeter of the herd they isolate their prey. The Lions strike and quickly hit top speed. The herd of antelopes take to flight and move almost as one. Through the long grass and across the plains, they are desperate to escape the certain doom that awaits them if captured by the lions. The race is on. Time has taught the antelope that the lions can only sustain top speed for a short distance. If they can just run a little further, a little longer, they can avoid being the lion’s lunch”

Could you hear the accent? It was there right! To return to an early and common metaphor of good vs. evil / pain vs. pleasure, it is easy boil this situation down to extract the example that is useful to daily life. The lions represent the bad guys or evil (if you’re an antelope) and the antelope are the good guys. The lions represent the ultimate pain of death to one or a couple of the antelope. Pleasure equals escape to safety once one of your herd has been caught and it wasn’t you.

Using those assumptions let’s look deeper at the herd of antelope. Imagine that there are 50 antelope. They break in to escape mode when the most alert, maybe only one or a few of them, realize that they are being hunted and therefore register the danger of the situation. They then respond by sprinting. The following, say 6-10 antelope, respond by following the first antelope’s lead and subsequently break in to a run themselves. Finally, the rest of the pack right down to least alert, follow suit and the chase is on. The chase will ensue with the most focused and the most alert leading the herd of antelopes through the plains until one has been caught and the lions are content with the meal they are about to eat.

So, my questions to you are –

Do you want to be the alert, prepared antelope?

Do you want to be the antelope that listens to the environment and to its instincts and is ready to respond at any time?

Once you are on the run with the pack, do you want to be in the group of leaders directing the herd?

*Remember that when this small group decide to change direction, the decision makers become the leading edge of the herd while the slower or less alert antelope take longer to respond, and are left hanging at the back or on the periphery of the herd.

Are you willing to accept the short term pain of running a little further to reach the long term pleasure of safety and another meal, another day, another race?

As to not run on too long, I’ll summarize a couple of points that I plan to expand on later.
1. Listen to your body. Listen to your instincts. Be aware of what is going on around you. Typically we “know” when something feels off, or we are in trouble or conversely when we are on the right track.
2. Once you recognize something in the environment, trust it. We were given “spidey senses” as a gift to protect us and give us the advantage; they are drawing on thousands of years of experience and evolution. Don’t let the world convince you to let them go to sleep.
3. When you find yourself in a race (and if you don’t already know, you are in the race every day) be ready to be in the leading edge. If you are not aware or in touch with your life, you are the trailing edge and you’ll become the low hanging fruit for the lions.
4. Metaphorically speaking, sometime its flight and other times it fight. Are you prepared to be at your best when you have to be?
5. There are always “lions” lurking. (People or situations that are looking to take something from you or affect you in negative way.) Sometimes we put ourselves in harm’s way and usually because we have wandered off the path towards our goals or we have placed our trust in the wrong people’s hands and allowed them to steer us off course and away from our goals.
6. Set Goals. The antelope that had the clearest awareness of it’s surroundings, had the highest chance of survival and in this case were the most likely to achieve their goal. The universe or the angels or anyone else for that matter, cannot help you get where you are going if you don’t have a destination in mind for yourself.

Thanks, more to come. Please comment and pass this blog along to others that you think will enjoy it.


1 comment:

  1. Hang in there and beat this, Jim! I was recently diagnosed with an auto-immune disease myself, Myasthenia Gravis.

    Pat Redmond