Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Day Two: I woke up ready for a new and better day. It was cold that morning, and after eating oatmeal for breakfast, I went out to gather wood for the fire. After classes in the morning, I returned to camp for lunch and to check on the fire. I read for a while from the book we had been assigned, Farewell to Manzanar, and then headed back for evening class at 6:00 p.m. That’s when I found out that my tent partners had gotten into trouble, and we had to move our camp next to Mr. Kevin and Mr. Mike’s camp. Not a great start to this expedition so far.
Day Three: Woke up to another cold morning. I packed up my stuff and was ready to go on time. Hiking back and forth across the creek, where the bridges used to be, my feet got soaked and very cold. We have been taught to always check the person hiking behind us whenever we cross slippery or dangerous areas, so I checked behind me often to make sure Mr. Kevin hadn’t fallen into the creek. I got into camp with cold wet feet, set up the tent, and put on dry socks. Then I went to evening class with dry cold feet. I finally got warm again when I climbed into my sleeping bag.
Day Four: I woke up to a morning that just had a great feeling about it. I got my tent partners to hurry, as we got ready for departure, so we could be at the rally point before the instructors. After we got there, Mr. Mike sent me down the trail to the other rally point to let them know there was a delay, but I was still ready when it was time for departure. After we had hiked for a while, we came to this really steep climb. I would climb up to a ledge, then turn around and help Mr. Kevin up, then climb some more and then do the same thing. I would warn him about slippery rocks and other obstacles and slowly, but surely we all made it. It felt great to get into camp, and even better because our camp spot was the best yet. We set up camp, ate lunch, and then headed to class where I learned about hypothermia, and how to recognize it before it is too late to help myself. The air was warm that day, and I was glad to climb into my sleeping bag that night.
Day Five: I woke up to a great morning, made the fire, and made the best oatmeal yet. After morning class, I finished my book and then just chilled around the camp. Later, I ate a big meal of lentils and rice, but it wasn’t very good. All around it was a great day, everything went smoothly and nothing went wrong. That night I climbed into the tent ready for the next day.
Day Six: Last day out. I woke up to a beautiful morning, and packed up and was ready to move out. We had a short class, before hiking out. The hills were killer. The hardest time I had was keeping up. After what seemed like forever, I was glad when we finally got off the trail. My feet started getting tired right as we got to the bus. I was so happy to see that big yellow bus.
I believe that our natural human state is to be peaceful, loving, kind, thoughtful and understanding. So why do some of us keep going back to hating or picking on people for no reason? This isn’t true of all people, but sometimes it seems that for many of us, it’s our thing.
What I’ve learned is that what you practice for long enough, will be what you become. So, sometimes, in an effort to make people like us, we stray from our own true nature, but in not staying true to ourselves, we are sacrificing our own ability to feel good about ourselves. When I am true to my nature, I feel better. I feel clear about whom I am meant to be, which is how I think all of us should feel.
I have the power over my attitude toward myself, and the people and world around me. What I do is all a result of my attitudes, and I hope to remain true to myself, so I can continue to live in my natural human state.
I think that the only way we can truly achieve freedom is when we have freed ourselves from bad attitudes, because they not only harm us, but they harm the people around us as well. One amazing example of how our attitudes can affect the people around us is a scene from the movie, Braveheart. At the beginning of this battle of epic proportions, William Wallace’s attitude of perseverance and strength radiated outward to the troops, who were beginning to lose heart in their cause. Wallace was able to give them faith in what they were fighting for by showing them, through his own attitude, why they should be fighting, not running away. All in all, I have realized that my attitude is the key to a free and wonderful life.
Fear is the root of many emotions that do me no good. Fear leads me to anger, which leads me to hate, which leads me to rejection, which leads me to self pity and so on.
One of the keys to overcoming fear is truly knowing yourself. As Sun Tzu said, “Know yourself, know your enemy (fear), 1000 encounters, 1000 victories.” The first step to victory is knowing yourself.