“We Need You”

At some point in every wilderness medicine course I’ve taken, we’ve confronted the question of what to do with the uninjured person who’s making life difficult for everyone else with all his undirected energy.

It turns out that the simplest way to ground such a live wire is to give him a job. “Here: I need you to hold this and not lose it.”

The job may or may not really matter in the grand scheme of things. What really matters is that it allows all the loose energy of a freakout to be focused on being part of the rescue.

That kind of freakout is usually caused by seeing a problem but not a way to be part of the solution. That makes everything feel even more out of control.

A calm and generous act of leadership is to find a way to channel that energy. “Hey, we need you. Can you give us a hand with this?”