Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trapped Elephant

Circus elephants are trained at a very young age to obey orders. Part of their training is to not try to break free of their chains. They do so by putting a metal pole, deep in the ground, with a chain on the elephant’s neck. The more the elephant pull, the more it chokes him.

After a while, they don’t have to put the metal pole too deep in the ground because the elephant stopped trying to break free. He convinced himself that it’s not possible.

In the event of a earthquake or a fire, or any other event that would scare the elephant, if the elephant is able to break free, he will never accept being in chain again.

Originally posted - November 2010

[Update December 2, 2019]
To me, there are 2 points to this story:
  • In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson: “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”
  • We prefer freedom over imprisonment.
While most of us don't have physical chains to bind us down we do have mental ones that does just the same. Once we move past those fears they don't usually hold us down anymore. It's time to break free!

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