Letting Go of Old Ideas

"The iron chain and silken cord are both equally bonds." 
--Johann Cristoph Friedrich von Schiller


A friend of mine tells a story about baby elephants.  In countries where elephants are used as working animals, they must be trained when they are very young and not yet too powerful.  The first thing a trainer does is fasten a heavy manacle and chain to the baby elephant's leg, securing the other end of the chain to a metal stake driven deep into the ground.  When the elephant tries to walk freely about, it cannot move any farther than the end of the chain.  Although the animal may try repeatedly to escape, it is held in check by its unyielding restraint.

After a period of time, the baby elephant stops testing the strength of the chain.  It remains within the circle's limited circumference, completely passive.  It has become thoroughly convinced that it cannot escape.

At that point the elephant can be used in the field and easily transferred from one location to another without concern.  All it takes to hold the animal, despite its enormous strength, is a light rope and thin wooden stake.  Because once the baby elephant has been conditioned in this manner, he remains convinced for the rest of his life that what was once true will always be true.

Have I begun to get rid of my baby elephant ideas?

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: It's never too soon or too late to change our convictions.

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