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An elephant never forgets?

There is an oft-quoted story about how elephants are trained for the circus.  As this story is related, the elephant trainer will attach one of the elephant’s rear legs to a post in the ground via an iron chain.  Hard as it might try, the elephant cannot pull free and eventually it gives up.  For the remainder of the elephant’s life, it can now be held with a simple string tied to the back leg.

A bit of research into actual training techniques shows this to be a simplification, though the essence is apparently true.  It seems there are actually two posts used, one on the front and one on the rear, and the elephant is also beaten in order to achieve complete dominance.

But let’s stick to the simpler story for now, as it is more useful in illustrating the point.  And the point is?  The story is of course a metaphor for how we live our own lives. 

How many things did we learn to accept as children that are no longer valid?


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