Poking The Bear

Taylor - Tempe, Arizona
Entered on October 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: carpe diem

“Poking the bear” is a saying my dad has said to me my whole life. In my family, poking the bear means asking for trouble. When I would talk back, my dad would say “Don’t poke the bear”. When I was younger, poking the bear meant making a situation worse. The metaphor my dad used was his way of reminding me to think before I acted, and not to do something that I could regret later. But now that I have gotten older, this saying has created a whole new meaning for me.

Poking the bear in some ways still means looking for trouble. I believe that without taking risks, you float through life being curious and intimidated. I’m not saying that I believe in causing trouble, but I do believe that without poking the bear we will never learn to be prepared. It is important to take lessons away from your mistakes, and if you are too afraid to put yourself out there you will never learn how to protect yourself in the future.

Something we’re taught our whole lives is to learn from our mistakes. But if you’re too afraid to make mistakes, there is nothing for you to learn. I think that the reason some people have trouble taking risks is because they are afraid of failure. Hesitation is led by low confidence. People don’t trust their instincts, and are afraid the end results will not be what they expected.

Everyone has experiences that they wish they would have done what they knew was right. I remember when I was younger, one day at recess I saw a kid getting picked on. I wanted to stop the bully, but I was too afraid. If I wouldn’t have hesitated, I could have stopped it. But I was too afraid of what would happen to me. So instead of helping someone, I let it go and walked away. Of course it was nothing brutal, just kids teasing each other, but instead of doing the right thing I just blew it off and hoped things would and out all right. Even though that is an immature situation it is an example of what I am saying. People get selfish and to worried about themselves when they have a shot at helping another person.

Living life and not being afraid to put yourself out there is hard to do. The only right way to live is to try and live your life honestly, and to not be afraid to take chances. Life is too short for us wonder what would have happened or what could happen. There is no time to be afraid, and there is no point in being unwilling. Trying to save yourself in spite of what another person may be dealing with is not worth it. We have to help each other out to get by. Not only am I a believer in taking risks, but I also believe in karma. I think that bad deeds will come back to a person at some point. Refraining from any kind of situation is not worth the guilt and curiosity of how things could have been.

My dad is the reason that I feel so strongly about never holding back. He never had the confidence or the opportunity to live his life to his full potential, so I have always wanted to make sure that I do my best and try to take the most out of life that I can. As I have gotten a little bit older, I’ve learned that faith in yourself and confidence are the only things you can rely on. The only way to live a full happy life is to help those around you and to never be afraid. Everything happens for a reason, and no matter how hard you try you can’t prevent bad things from happening. So try not to be afraid to poke the bear!