Lesson from an Elephant…

Got this story about an Elephant that lost an eye and decided to share it on this blog. I believe the lesson is one that everybody must not miss…

An elephant came to the edge of a stream of clear rushing water. Being thirsty, the elephant leaned over, dropped its trunk into the cool water and… plunk! “What? What happened?” the elephant cried. “I can’t see! My eye… it fell in the water! Oh nooooooh,” the elephant wailed in a panic, “I lost my eye!”

And, in fact, the elephant’s right eye had popped out of its socket and fallen into the stream. The elephant searched frantically for the eye, groping with its trunk along the bottom of the stream. The more he groped, the cloudier the water became. That made him panic even more, and he started churning up great piles of sand, until he couldn’t see anything.

Then the elephant heard the sound of laughing. Furious, he looked around to see who it was, and saw a little green frog sitting on a log, laughing and laughing.

“You think this is funny?” the elephant shouted. “I lose an eye and that makes you laugh?”

“What’s funny is to see how upset you are. Calm down and everything will be fine,” the frog replied.

The elephant felt a little ashamed and took the frog’s advice. He stopped moving his trunk around, and soon the water became clearer as the sand sank to the bottom. And there in the stream lay his eye. He reached for it with his trunk and popped it back into its socket. And then he thanked the frog.

This simple parable contains great wisdom. There’s nothing funny about losing an eye… the sudden panic, thrashing around in murky water, desperation… that’s exactly what happens to us when we lose control and panic. Our haste makes us blind.

We become temporarily incapable of seeing the world around us objectively and rationally. But there is an antidote to panic: wait. Wait until the situation becomes clear and the black clouds disperse.