Fear can give us a healthy dose of reality. Fire can be used to light up a dark room, but it also has a fearsome power and can destroy an entire forest or neighborhood. We have a healthy fear of fire, respecting its power. Volcanoes can create islands, but we must have a healthy fear of their power and not be cavalier when approaching them. When we don’t show proper respect, or fear, for nature, disaster can result. In Yellowstone National Park, for example, “the park service recommends that visitors stay at least 25 yards away from wild animals like bison and elk, and 100 yards from bears and other carnivores, at all times. Despite this, there have been multiple bison attacks this summer, in Yellowstone and North Dakota’s Theodore Roosevelt National Park.” Tourists frequently disregard the parks’ rules and try to touch or get too close to wild animals and miss showing the proper respect or “fear” they need to. Condé Nast Traveler has good advice: “Unless you are sure you can make it back to your car in the time it takes for a bison to run 25 yards, or the length of two school buses—less than 1.5 seconds—it’s best to take a step back” (Ali Wundermand, “Why People Keep Trying to Pet Animals at National Parks,” Condé Nast Traveler, August 7, 2019, https://www.cntraveler.com/story/why-do-people-keep-touching-animals-in-the-wild).
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