Farley Mowat wrote Never Cry Wolf in the mid 20th century about his experience studying a small wolf pack. He was able to learn much about this misunderstood species in a time when wolves were greatly feared and seen as devils.
This book opened up the idea that wolves were just trying to survive like everyone else in the harsh environment of the tundra/taiga. Mowat watches from a short distance and learns to love the creatures that others demonized at the time.
From this insightful book I learned much about wolves, but also three big lessons about life:
1 – Don’t let common stereotypes and fables cloud rational judgement.
Mowat is told horror stories about wolves before flying into their territory. He still pursues his mission to study these animals better and goes into his exploration with an open, scientific mind.
There are stereotypes about every race, every religion, every country, etc. Stereotypes are impossible to avoid, but that doesn’t mean we have to let them keep us from getting to know people. Put all stereotypes you’ve heard in the back of your mind and meet everyone with fresh eyes.
2 – Historically and currently, we fear what we don’t understand.
Humans have a tendency to assume anything unknown is naturally demonic and dangerous. It’s like being afraid of the dark – the dark isn’t scary, we feel fear because we don’t know what could be hiding it the dark.
With animals or different types of people, we might feel fear because we don’t know who they are.
Fear is natural, but we do have complete control over our actions. The people in this book feared wolves so they began killing them. Mowat, however, gets to know the unknown and learns just how humane these creatures are.
Even if you fear something or someone, get to know more about him/her or the situation. The more you learn, the less you fear. And the less we fear, the less we hate.
This brings me to my final lesson:
3 – The more time we spend with others, the more human they become.
Once we get to know people, or animals, the more we learn and see their own unique personalities and characteristics. We stop seeing them as an object and start to see them as individual souls, wanting love just like we do.
Spend time listening, observing, and conversing with the unknown. You’ll begin to see the beautiful soul living inside every biological shell.
In a world divided, the human race needs these life lessons more than ever. We’re more open nowadays, thankfully, but bias and hate still roam the earth. Never Cry Wolf teaches to push aside stereotypes and to seek understanding of the unknown out in the world.
On a cultural note, one story in the book taught me not to chase a wolf hunt while butt naked. The local eskimos might not appreciate this tactic.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great day free of hate and stereotyping. Go learn about something you currently fear. You just might end up loving it.
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