The Elephant Rope

by Stephen on June 17, 2011 · 54 comments

in Education, Inspirational stories, Moral stories

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

If you find this story useful, please share with a friend!

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1. Careful — July 5, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Maybe the elephants were smart enough to know if they’d escaped they’d have been shot!

2. I like this story. — July 9, 2011 at 11:02 pm

Nice story, sometimes stories may change persons life, thanks post more.

3. Sarita — July 22, 2011 at 6:59 am

Nice really nice

4. Mahesh — August 12, 2011 at 2:06 am

It was pretty good.

5. Doctor — August 14, 2011 at 12:21 am

It is called conditioned reflex or sham reflex which is natural in all living. Actually it is good to save life, but human are thinking creature they should give up this mental block

6. amrutha — August 24, 2011 at 12:53 pm

really superb…………….

7. Priya — September 17, 2011 at 11:39 pm

So nice…..!!!

8. NOUFAL — September 19, 2011 at 3:10 am

Each day live differently

9. Ankit — September 25, 2011 at 11:45 am

Awesome approach towards the human philosophy…..!!!

10. Animesh — October 12, 2011 at 1:25 am

How foolish?

11. Syamala — November 8, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Very good.

12. Saee — November 12, 2011 at 5:04 am

Yes that is true, we forgot that we are now bought up and we can do everything which is in the world …. thanks for the simple but sweet story..

13. Gaurav_Luthra — December 1, 2011 at 8:10 am

I will try to do what I once wanted to do but failed at that time. Thanks 4 your awesome way to make, people like me, understand this true fact.

14. Sree Vidya.Velicheti — December 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm

People loose confidence due to their failures and never notice their raise in maturity levels, thereby forced to live like elephants life, like in this story.

15. Sumit — January 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Awesome approach towards the human philosophy…..!!!
Really superb…………….

16. DivyaShri — January 11, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Really nice…………………………..

17. Krishna — January 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

Nice story. Post more…

18. Jyoti Maurya — February 5, 2012 at 9:16 am

Thankssss!!! It will help me for my story telling competition.

19. KAVITHA — February 6, 2012 at 6:39 am

The example and the quote below is simply good. :)

20. Jaya — February 6, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for sharing such a good inspirational story. I really like it…

21. Danial.e — February 16, 2012 at 7:13 am

This story was very interesting and it helped me to make my oral presentation. Thank you to the person who posted this story.

22. Mallika — March 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Thanks alot this helped me alot to do my prayer at religion class….. and it really teaches me a lesson

23. Barendra — March 10, 2012 at 12:20 am

In this new era we shouldn’t belief superstitions…..but very much enthusiastic

24. Joy — April 6, 2012 at 5:41 am

True story! Never stop your feet to go forward. Never assume your are hopeless.

25. ABABIO — May 3, 2012 at 3:18 am

Instil a-can-do-attitude always!! be indomitable!

26. Jennifer Black — May 6, 2012 at 3:07 pm

This storys helped me alot.. it’s actually unreal. Thank-you so much, my life is getting better by the minute just by following that one peice of advice :) Thank-you! I hope it helped others as well.

27. Shelby Menet — May 17, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I loved this story!! Do you mind if I use the story or idea of it? I am a art student…

28. Stephen — May 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Please feel free to!

29. Camilia — June 14, 2012 at 12:24 pm

This wonderful story will help people to know what is the meaning of life.

30. Nitin — July 3, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Very nice story…!!! Hearty inspirational…!!!!

31. KIPTOO — July 9, 2012 at 6:11 am

I like this story. My rural youth should be thought so…

32. Savir — July 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Lovely stories

33. Khalid Shaikh — July 21, 2012 at 1:47 am

Lesson for us.

34. shiv — August 26, 2012 at 10:55 pm

Ya. We are bound by such many perceptions…. And we grow negative…. A good one !

35. Keertishree — September 2, 2012 at 11:57 am

Really so awesome… how superb :)

36. Angelyn — October 5, 2012 at 3:59 am

Thanks for posting this story…just what I wanted for my storytelling competition!! ;)

37. Arshad Gaddar — December 11, 2012 at 6:33 am

Good one

38. Devansh Sharma — December 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

I loved this story… after my high school I lost my way during my stream selection……your website was one of the ways to bring me back. Thanks a lot :)

39. Abyb — December 27, 2012 at 5:45 pm

What a beautiful story, I love this site…

40. Mehul Tanna — January 1, 2013 at 12:21 pm

You are doing a great job keep it up..:)

41. Rene Bannigan — January 26, 2013 at 10:11 am

Who was the actual author of this story? I loved the message it was truly inspirational.

42. Sandeep — February 9, 2013 at 9:28 am

It is cool. Really good.

43. Azrul — March 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

Good job.

44. Mantasha — April 23, 2013 at 1:26 pm

An inspiring story and good as well.

45. Khaila Galvez — July 25, 2013 at 3:22 am

A story which reminds me again that life had made of learning process that while we live, learning is one of the process in life we sometimes forget to remember. A good and inspiring story :-)

46. Paul w Simiyu — September 4, 2013 at 10:23 am

We tend to believe that because it didn’t happen today, it is obvious that it won’t happen tomorrow, it high time we look things at God’s perspective and realize that we are giants who are not supposed to be bound by tiny things like worries, doubts, and other, we must stand and do exploits for huber father God.

47. Gupta Kamal alg — September 19, 2013 at 8:59 am

Animals are equal wise as human.

48. Helary — November 5, 2013 at 5:27 am

What’s the conflict? Please tell me.

49. Hannah — November 22, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Good tale

50. Ojas — January 28, 2014 at 7:59 am

Oh that’s cool man ouch ouch

51. Animesh — February 8, 2014 at 10:24 am

The moral of the story is even that we should never trap, shoot or kill the animals.

52. Robert — March 15, 2014 at 1:34 pm

While when said in a context if an individual who is fully capable, the story can hold true, it is often used as a means to brow beat or shame another into action.

Case in point, a person returning to college and must live with their parents to afford college.

Conservatives use this story to shame the 25 year old for still living with their parents. Stating that the 25 year old doesn’t get a full time job, and attend college full time, because their the lazy elephant.

The story maybe insperatilnal when used in the correct context, but often it isn’t or worst yet, it is used by someone who is ignorant (willful or not) of conditions.

53. Muhammad imran — July 21, 2014 at 7:43 am

Full of inspiration and motivation !

54. Kumar — August 8, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Best moral story

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