It’s wise to know when to choose flight or fight

Guilt cannot change the past and worry cannot change the future. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The recent story of the fearless young antelope charging at the leopard after giving up on trying to escape caught up the attention of many. For those of you, who have not managed to read the story, it goes like this: The spotting of the fresh leopard tracks, led to the finding of a leopard and a young antelope, Nyala.

The leopard was lying relaxed after the capture of the young one. The young antelope was most uncomfortable and anxious, having been captured by the leopard. Now the Nyala had two options, to escape from the situation (or atleast make an attempt to escape) or fight back (which is the usual dilemma of Flight or Fight). Flight was the first and only instinct, so it tried to run and escape but soon realised that escape is near impossible especially given the might of what it had to fight against.

So, the young antelope did the most unimaginable, it took the opponent head-on, and tried charging at it and ramming the leopard with its tiny head. And as it did that, the leopard found it amusing and just kept trotting behind. This continued for a while, that every time young Nyala would charge at the leopard, the leopard would just push the young Nyala by its paw. Unfortunately, in the end, despite little Nyala's initial attempts to escape and fight, the leopard won and killed the young antelope. Sad but true that even if it had been successful in its attempt, it would not have been welcomed back and would have been rejected by the mother as it would have smelled too much like a predator.

Young Nyala exhibited extreme bravery, trying to fight the leopard against its instincts Surely, there is so much for us to learn from this young Nyala:

Taking the decision of flight vs fight: When encountered with a tough situation, the flight may seem the easiest choice, but weigh your choice in carefully. The Nyala could make a choice of escaping, but sure enough, it thought whether it can survive such an effort because not only would that instigate the leopard to attack but it knew it did not have the might or the strength to run faster than the leopard.


Taking the decision to fight: As much as the Nyala did not have the might to run, the Nyala also knew that it did not have the might to fight the leopard, yet it probably made the choice because it realised that it is better to die fighting this way than to die giving up.

Guilt cannot change the past and worry cannot change the future: As Dale Carnegie puts it, “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.