The guide with a rifle strapped to his back grabbed my mother’s shoulders to stop her from running. The silverback gorilla was tearing through the underbrush as it charged toward her.
It was my brother’s 16th birthday. His long-awaited gift was a family outing up the side of a mountain in Rwanda to see the nearly extinct mountain gorillas in the wild (our family was living in Rwanda at the time).
When a gorilla charges, you don’t want to run or make eye contact. You’re supposed to stare at the jungle floor and remain as still as possible.
As you can imagine, that runs contrary to our human instincts.
And that’s one of the reasons you’re not allowed to go without a guide. You need someone who has mastered the right knee-jerk reactions that can save your life if the silverback decides to charge.
A simple rule can be more useful than a complex decision process because of its ability...