Tuesday, 22 November 2011

As Free as an Elephant Tethered With Rope

In certain parts of the world people keep elephants as working animals, either for moving trees or appeasing tourists. This is no more prevalent than in India. In some parts though they have developed a technique for keeping their elephants 'loyal'.

At night the Elephant is tethered to a small stick shoved in the ground by a thin rope. This majestic creature that could quite easily pull a tree down our crush a house does not try to move or run away. The problem is not physical but psychological - quite obviously even a squirrel could get away from this.

The problem (or solution depending on which angle you come from) lies in the elephants infancy - As a young calf it's tied to a concrete post or wall by a thick metal chain. The more the elephant struggles, the tighter the chain gets, cutting and digging into the baby calf's flesh. The more it pulls, the more it hurts. Eventually the calf stops struggling and accepts its fate. It stops trying to get away, to run, to be free. When the elephant becomes an adult - and remember an elephant never forgets - draws back to this intense pain and a simple rope will keep it in place.

When we are young we think we can achieve anything but life ties a metal chain around us and trains our mind to accept what we see... When we are finally old and strong enough to 'pull down trees' we stop fighting, we accept the chains are real and no longer struggle but none of it is real. Like Bill Hicks say's 'Life is Just a Ride' but if you truly believe there is a chain you will never be free...

Written by @roywoodhouse
(please click on my name and follow me on Twitter)

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