The Antelope & The Lion

 

When I was young, I was fascinated by a show called “Wild Kingdom.”  It highlighted a different species each show, and demonstrated how they survived in the wild.  I was entranced by the beauty of the animals, and by how unusual they were to my world in The Bronx.  It was just entertainment for me, and I didn’t get it at the time, but I was learning distinct life lessons from each show.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: it’s amazing how, where and from whom one can gain knowledge that lasts a lifetime.

In particular, I remember a show about lions.  They are beautiful creatures to say the least, savage as much as graceful.  They are also masters of teamwork.  The females hunt in packs (a whole new post?), and know how to place themselves in perfect position to help each other once one of them decides to strike.  They even know how to “play the wind” to their advantage, staying downwind of their quarry so as not to alert their sense of smell.  Sure enough, once all are in place, one of them pounces, followed by the rest, and what occurs next is a mad rush of graceful athleticism, high drama and sometimes, a disturbingly bloody conclusion….

It wasn’t until years later, and after some life lessons of my own, that a flashback of that show brought to the surface some fundamental knowledge I had unwittingly buried years before.  I never paid attention to it as a child, but as an adult, I realized that the antelope always reacted the same way: they RAN.  Think back.  If you’ve ever seen footage of this, or if you’ve ever been privileged enough to see it live, have you EVER seen antelope, at the moment of the attack, stand their ground and roar at the lion??

Ever?

They ALWAYS run.  They know EXACTLY who they are, and they know exactly who’s chasing them.  They have, as we would say: “no shame in their game.”  They don’t allow PRIDE to get in the way of their survival.  A buck never decides that he wants to impress the does with his bravery, roaring (can they even roar if they wanted to?) off at the mouth and demonstrating to the lions that “he ain’t no punk.”  The antelope never wonder why everyone else is running.  They don’t try to “figure it all out” first before taking action.  They don’t take time to ask for advice.  They run.  And they stick together in the herd precisely because they know that the “bad @$$” that always wants to do things on his own, and who always has his own agenda, and who never “needs anyone,” has a nickname: TARGET.

I mean, can we learn a lot from the antelope, or what?  How many of us “roar at the lion,” knowing we have nothing for the claws and teeth coming at us?  How many of us have cussed out our bosses, then tried to explain to the kids why they couldn’t have steak that night?  How many of us thought we had razor-sharp claws ourselves, only to pull out some hooves when the stuff hit the fan?  And didn’t we try to play it off?  “Shoooot, I didn’t care about that (insert situation here: job, relationship, friendship, promotion, etc.) anyway!”

Amazing.  Antelope don’t have claws that can rip another animal apart.  Their teeth don’t threaten anyone.  But they sure know how to survive.  The antelope always run from the lions, demonstrating that, at least part of the time, they’re a lot smarter than us.

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