Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A random thought

I got this forward from someone today:
As I was passing the elephants, I 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.

I saw a trainer near by and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. "Well," he 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." I 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.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
It's something that strikes me from time to time, although maybe not in this particular way. There's so much we could do, so much we want to do, but don't because we're conditioned not to do them, or not to even think about it.

4 comments:

ZiggyStrauss said...

Behaviourism - It makes the world go round

Skinner for Prez!!

susheelk said...

I would rate this as "one of the best posts"... Good one. It made me think and muse. I feel this is what blogging/writing is all about.

Dwijo said...

Dude. I'm like so bored right now I can't even think of better ways for the internet to entertain me.

This gave me a good chuckle though like half an hour back: http://www.lenshaw.com/pages/warconclusion.html

una viajera said...

Heh. That was funny.

You're still a git though.