Saturday, September 29, 2007

Spare a thought for the elephant

Here's something very interesting.

A man was standing around observing the staff of a circus taking the animals back to their enclosures at the end of a long day of performing. It intrigued him to see that the elephant trainers were leading their charges away with nothing more than thin cords tied around their front legs.
He approached one of the trainers to remark, "I would have thought such huge and powerful creatures would be able to break through those little cords and get away from you."
The trainer explained, "Of course they could, but we start training them when they are only babies. They can't snap the cords then and only ever try once or twice. Then they assume for the rest of their performing careers that they'll be unable to break free."

There you have it. It would seem that the proverbial long memories of elephants are not an advantage to them in every way! We have long memories too. It made me start to wonder if humans are all that much brighter than elephants. Perhaps I've limited myself in exactly the same way by the exact same thought patterns.

"I've tried hiring a PR guy for my books, and although he talked big, he didn't really deliver the goods so I'm not going to try again."
"I've tried speaking up in ladie's groups, but nobody was really interested in my opinion, so I'm going to keep it to myself from now on."
"I've been to parties thrown by So-&-So before and had a bad time, so I'm never going to go to the next one."
"What's-his-name called me an idiot so I won't be mentioning any more of my ideas to him."

Instead of being "wise" and "careful" what if some of this thinking is just making us choke off our true potential? Maybe when we get nervous about trying new things that we truly want to try, it'd be worth taking a moment to consider whether it's just "elephant mentality."


  1. Someone else was talking to me about this recently. For the life of me I can't remember who. I guess I'm not an elephant! ;o)
    I agree, it sometimes takes a number of tries to get something. I tried a recipe for a complicated cake three times before it came out right. I was ready to toss the recipe. Good thing I didn't, because it was really good!

    Peace and Laughter,

  2. This is really insightful!
    (and makes me feel guilty I haven't ordered your books yet but they are on the list right next to the Life of Fred series I need to get. ~ November ~ after I get college tuition covered....)

    I've just updated a bunch of links on my blog, do you have a link specifically for your books? I'm off to look and I'll add that too! I don't have a large readership yet but ya never know...

    Have a great Tomorrow!

  3. Hehe....You now have top billing on my B&B Blog!!
    Good Luck!

  4. You are such a treasure and make me smile. I'm glad you like the plug and I hope it helps.

    Lol, I just need to share it's currently, 10pm EST here or 0200 Zulu (GMT) and 26.7 c degrees here, too! (I live on the Eastern coast of Florida) The winds are currently blowing 24 mph with gusts up to 46 mph~ As Pooh says,"It's a blustery night!"

    Have a great tomorrow!

  5. Paula, You always make me think!!
    I'm way behind in blogging...I need to make a category of "Most Pertinent to Read" and put you in it!!

    Forgive me for not stopping by more often, I know of all people - you understand.

    I love what you've got written here. You know what else?? we can be affected (Effected?) by the elephant mentality of OTHERS. That's hard to overcome, too!! We're dealing with it, especially, in our church. And I know there are such elephants in our family . :-)

    Just love your revelations!!