Monday, January 26, 2015

If Only Humans Were More Like Bears

I was watching a nature show about Alaskan Brown Bears earlier this evening. 
A pretty interesting program, really.  I was not disappointed.

A mother bear and her two cubs were the main focus of the film.  As is the case with most of these kinds of shows, the cameras followed the bears around through their daily routines of grooming, feeding, fighting, playing, sleeping etc.
There was one segment that showed the bears kind of cavorting on the beach.
One of the cubs wandered into the surf, but ended up a little too deep for his own comfort level.  The mother watched over him from the shore while he tried to make his way back again to shallower water.  He was unable to do so, and ended up just standing in the whitewater looking bewildered and afraid.
Mom calmly walked to where he was, picked him up by the scruff of his neck with her mouth, and brought him closer to shore; not all the way in, but a little closer.  She then walked back out of the water and watched the little guy get fresh footing, and a new acclimation.  After doing so, he got his courage back up, turned, and scampered out of the water to where she was waiting, a happy little guy for getting out of trouble, but maybe even more so for having done so much of it himself.

While I was watching this remarkable understanding of parenting by such a wild and wooly creature I was thinking ‘If only humans were more like bears’, and was reminded of the hundreds of times I’d watched parents supervising their children at playgrounds, amusement parks, lakes, beaches, back yards and in the woods.  Anywhere, really.  And I was struck by how many times I’d seen mothers and fathers rescue their kids from situations and predicaments the little ones had inadvertently gotten themselves into.  When I say rescued, I mean just that . . . . . . . . rescued.  The parents had extracted the child from their ‘dangerous dilemma’.  Unlike the mother bear, they did not ease the severity of the danger for the child, and then allow the little one to work his way out of, or move himself through, the remainder of the process.  No, they spared him the process, thereby robbing the child of the whole learning experience.  Really, the child learned two things from the predicament, but only two things. 
1. Never to climb that high again on the monkey bars.  And,
2. Mom or dad will always be there to get me down if I do.
No wonder so many kids are growing up to be dependent and afraid.

Hmmmm!  If only humans were more like bears.