The Circus Elephant

As a man passed a circus, he stopped to observe a large elephant tied to a stake driven into the ground with a rope knotted to one of its legs.

No chains, no fences. Clearly, the elephant could have freed himself at will, by snatching that rope, but for some unknown reason, he didn’t.

He stopped and asked the tamer for an explanation. “Well”, said the tamer, “when the elephant is small, we use the same rope and the same peg to tie it up and, at that age, it is enough to keep him from running away. In the first months he struggles to free himself, but without success, and as he grows older, he is led to believe that he cannot escape, and never again tries to free himself. He is imprinted with the memory of helplessness and never tries his strength again, never again.

We are all a bit like the circus elephant: we go around chained to hundreds of stakes that take away our freedom.

We live thinking that we can’t do a lot of things simply because once, when we were little, we tried and failed.

We grew up carrying a message with us: “I can’t, and therefore I never will.” In truth, the only way to know if you can do it is: try again putting your whole heart into it… your whole heart!

– Podere San Cristoforo –

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