Are You a Bear or a Salmon?

In Alaska, salmon swim up to 31 miles upstream to spawn, while bears fresh from hibernation will take their young cubs on an equally incredible journey. The bears begin by walking two weeks without eating while avoiding predators and battling the elements until they get to the same final destination as the salmon.

The reward for the bear’s hard work: feasting on salmon. The reward for the salmon’s 31-mile swim: the chance to avoid being eaten by very hungry bears.

The lessons? One, as a species or as individuals, we don’t own the corner on hard work. Two, at least for many salmon, hard work is hardly sufficient. And three, the best and perhaps ultimate reward for working hard is giving our offspring a chance in life.

Look around you today and notice the people working hard in all walks of life — the taxi driver, the construction worker, the waitress. Look also at the things you’re using today — your laptop, your phone, your car — and imagine the workers behind them.

Do you think they are working for the same or different things as you? And who is the salmon and who is the bear?

Read more about the role of HARD WORK in our lives.

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