Food for Thought, Thought for Action!

The Baby Elephant Syndrome


In its natural habitat the mighty elephant can easily uproot huge trees or knock over buildings. However, a baby elephant in captivity is tied to a tree with a strong chain every night. The baby elephant wants to roam and therefore struggles instinctively with all its might to be free. After a long period of struggle and failure, the baby elephant no longer tries to break free.

When this elephant is fully grown, it can be tied with a small rope to a stake. This 10,000 pound creature could easily break free. But, its mind has been conditioned to believe in its captivity and does not even attempt to break the rope.

The powerfully gigantic elephant has limited its present abilities by the limitations of the past. Human beings are sometimes exactly the same like the elephant except for one thing, we can CHOOSE not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past.

“Don’t let you past dictate who you are, but let it be a part of who you become.” -Anonymous.

“You are what you think.” – Lord Buddha

I Can, You Can, and Everyone Can.

Yes we can!

4 thoughts on “The Baby Elephant Syndrome

  1. This is a good philosophy.

  2. Yes, there are many things around us that can be good lessons for life.

  3. That’s a useful concept for mind-building mainly in cambodian context as we were suffered and vulnerable much.

  4. . . . To my own stupid understandingly only, lecturer. . . don mind me…

    One’s past is comparable to a box of remembrance of which two colors are co-painted – either black or white. If the black side overshadows the white one, one is likely to live under pain and regrets. And if the white overshadows the black, s/he is likely to live with happiness and satisfaction. To some extent, as i earlier said, the two colors co-exist. So neither one can live with just happiness nor s/he can invariably live with sadness.
    I love those quotes, but frankly speaking i cannot do it. I always live with my gloomy past. wonder if u hav some comments.

    “You are what you think… and (he should add) not what you have.” Because my book reads: If you are what you have and you lose what you have, so who you are?

    Great blog; keep going on.
    Hope to play “Tat Sey at CMU” with you again, lecturer.
    ur student…

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