Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

January 23, 2011

Memory Like An Elephant

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I love elephants!  I always dreamed that I could be rich enough to have a large compound where I could have an elephant!  Of course, they are the most expensive animal to care for.  An elephant can eat several hundred pounds of food a day!

I loved elephants as a young boy.  I can remember going with my dad when the Barnum Bailey train would arrive and they would parade the animals —  especially, the elephants —  down the streets to the big lot where the circus would be held.  The elephants were the power to raise the tent poles, as well as move other materials.

During those years, Jumbo was the most famous elephant in the world!  A large African elephant that was always the delight of the crowd!  African elephants are my choice.  There are also Asian elephants.  There is a difference in the two:  over-all size, shape of the head, shape of the back, length of tusk, number of fingers at end of the trunk, and the size of the ears.

The African elephant is the largest.  They weigh an average of 12,000 pounds, though the record weight is 22,000 pounds!  Elephants are social animals.  They can communicate with one another, and they are excellent swimmers.  With the two fingers at the end of the trunk, they can pick a delicate flower without crushing it.

They are indeed wonderful and fascinating animals. But, is it true what many have said?  “An elephant never forgets!”

Elephants, indeed, rank among the smartest in the animal kingdom.  Some believe it is the size of the brain compared to body weight.  Other studies cannot give the reason for their intelligence, but it is confirmed that they reason and remember.

There is evidence where certain villages were attacked by elephants and the studies conclude it was those villages where the men hunted and abused the elephants.  The elephants remembered and seemingly planned the attacks.

Elephants remember injuries and hold grudges against those who have mistreated them.  There are more injuries among trainers and keepers of elephants than any other animals.  Evidence suggests that the elephants remember trainers and keepers who mistreated them even years after being separated.

If there is one characteristic most humans share with elephants, it is the remembrance of being hurt, injured or abused by someone.  Many people carry with them throughout life the memory of such.  It may be from an adult or some childhood friend.  It may have been a physical attack or simply verbal.  It might have been someone who laughed or ridiculed an act or our appearance on a certain day.

That person may not have any recollection of their action, but the one offended or hurt has never forgotten.  The elephant often seeks revenge upon remembrance of being mistreated —  perhaps some of us do likewise.

Someone says, “Forgive and forget.”  Sounds easy!  We will probably never forget . . . but we can forgive.  And unless we forgive, we imprison ourselves with emotions, anger, and even a desire for revenge.  If we forgive, then when we  do recall the mistreatment, it will not have the same emotion of anger and resentment. 

It seems we have an ability the elephant does not have.  That is the ability to forgive . . . ! 

” . . . if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him . . . .”  (Mark 11:25)

Lawson

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