Life Lesson 7
If you want to change the world
don’t back down from the sharks
Dads are protectors. It’s what we’re best at. (Moms, too.) Closet monsters? No problem. Big scary hornets? Just let us at ’em.
But what about sharks?
In one phase of SEAL training, students are flown to San Clemente Island, off the coast of San Diego. There, they must complete a long swim, at night, in waters teeming with sharks. The instructors offer little reassurance, just some words of advice: If a shark begins to circle, stand your ground. If it attacks, punch it in the snout. Easier said than done, right?
What this life lesson means to us
“There are a lot of sharks in the world,” Admiral McRaven says. “If you hope to complete the swim you will have to deal with them.” Bullying bosses. Bad boyfriends and girlfriends. Hostile strangers. If we could punch every shark our children encounter in life, we gladly would. But we can’t. We have to let them fight their own battles. And that breaks our heart.
Instead, all parents can do is share the advice from this life lesson: Stand your ground. Don’t back down. Talk to your kids about how to find courage when they’re afraid to speak up. When your kids are struggling in deep water and they feel a fin brush past their leg, they’ll remember your conversations.