Habits become chains in life

submitted by: Alva Matheson

18 Dec 2022

Habit: Elephants

Thailand is a land of elephants. They are routinely seen moving logs, lifting weights, and dragging equipment from the forest. They are greatly favored, appreciated, and well treated.

I was at a place in northern Thailand called Phi Mai, a ruined bastion from pre-colonial times. While I was there, I struck up a conversation with one of the docents at a temple ruins. When I commented on the elephants at work, he was anxious to tell me all about the character and beauty of the animals, as well as the work that the elephants did for the economy of the area. Then he paused and said…,

“Do you know how we train the elephants? When they are young, we put a heavy rope around one leg at night and as they get older, we use a smaller and smaller rope until when the elephants mature. When they are old they have become so accustomed to having a restraint around their foot that they no longer wander from their tree.

The metaphor is: “Habits” can become permanent chains