The elephant and the rope

There is a story about a man who, as he was passing some elephants, suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

The seduction of safety is often much more dangerous than the perception of uncertainty.

Like the elephants, many of us go through life hanging onto beliefs that some things are just impossible, simply because we failed at it once before.

And just like the elephants we don’t even try to move or change, conditionned, frozen in our way of thinking. We accept our ‘chains’ as being our reality. Not to be questionned again.

What if we challenged our ‘internal chains’ and dared to wander in unknown territory… There just might be some magic appearing, with the little rope only being an illusion.