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juliane Koepcke was flying with her mother and ninety other passengers on Christmas Eve, 1971, when lightning struck, causing an extensive structural failure of the Lockheed Electra.
As she recalled, "I remember thinking that the jungle trees below looked just like cauliflowers." To someone who knows about survival, that statement is telling. She wasn't screaming; she wasn't in a panic. She was in wonder at the world in which she found herself.
In the article, “Deep Survival” by Laurence Gonzales describes in order to survive a life and death situation one must be mentally prepared.
It was Juliane's good fortune that three hunters turned up the next day and delivered her to a local doctor. But, as Louis Pasteur said, "Luck favors the prepared mind."
Early the next morning, as we moved up a rocky river drainage through the mountains, I noticed that Kerns would stop frequently to point out something of beauty or interest. He spoke softly, as if we were in a church.
As we slogged through the woods, practicing firecraft, shelter making, knots, and navigation . . . I kept asking Kerns, but he couldn't explain it. Nobody could. It meant the difference between life and death; he could tell me that.
His mastery and confidence turned the pilots around even more than the fire. It showed them the way, and it made Kerns more able to save himself. That lesson was driven home again and again: Helping someone else is the best way to ensure your own survival.It helps you to rise above your fears.
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