What Do You Need to Survive

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She had walked for over a week and a half, surviving leeches and other insects in order to reach safety. (Gonzales, 326). Survival isn’t a normal situation. Survivors are often reminded of things they take for granted, like food, a place to rest your head, and well-being. Survivors often times find themselves completing tasks they would normally find impossible or something close to impossible.

Survivors encounter moments when adrenaline fuels the actions they take. Survival requires the people surviving to be pushed far beyond their normal capabilities, for they must use their surroundings and situations to their advantage; specifically through teamwork; motivation; and a thorough, clear, and conclusive mindset.

Survival requires the survivor to have the motivation to stay alive. While he was on vacation in New York City, John Tull contracted the Bubonic Plague. John “… knew [his] oldest son and his [son’s] wife were pregnant with the first grandchild. And by God, [he wanted] to stay alive to see that little grandbaby.” (“John Tull…”, Par. 6 of transcript) John came down with a coma.

In that coma, he struggled to survive. John eventually woke up and was healed. At that point, several people would cave in into the pressure, give up, and die. But when he was in the pressure, John thrived. John didn’t think he would pull through, but persevered and got through it. John, though being in a foreign land in an abnormal situation, flourished.

We know survival requires motivation, but survival also requires the survivors to work with those around them if there is anyone. During the Holocaust, Elie Wiesel was imprisoned in Auschwitz, when he encountered a selection, where certain prisoners would be killed, and others would live. Elie remembered that “Tibi and Yossi, who had changed Kommandos at the same time [he] did, [had] come to urge [him]: ‘Let’s stay together. It will make us stronger.’”(Wiesel, 309).

Tibi, Yossi, and Elie had come face to face with death. Elie had to survive, along with his friends Tibi and Yossi, but didn’t know how to. That’s when Tibi and Yossi came to his aid and gave him suggestions to survive, which Wiesel took. Elie stayed with Tibi and Yossi, and it gave them all the strength and courage to face the Kapos, or the ones running the selection.

The three survived the selection and had a boosted confidence in each other. Elie and his friends had encountered an unfamiliar situation and met it with familiar knowledge. Though they were strangers to the concept, they met it with expertise.

We have talked about how survival requires motivation and teamwork, but survival also requires the survivor to have a thorough, clear, and conclusive state of mind. Juliane Koepcke survived a plane crash, while much more prepared people died. Laurence Gonzales, the author who wrote Deep Survival about stories like Juliane’s, says that “Survivors aren’t fearless. They use fear: they turn it into anger and focus.” (Gonzales, 327)

Juliane wasn’t a Navy SEAL or a survival expert. Juliane just noticed that she was in a life or death situation, took fear, sculpted it into focus, and applied it to her motivation to keep moving. While she was getting eaten alive by bugs and mosquitos, she noticed that she could just flop on the ground, moan, and die, but that’s not what she did. She applied herself, focused, and survived.


Cite this paper

What Do You Need to Survive. (2021, May 15). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/what-do-you-need-to-survive/

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