It’s Friday night and I walk up the block to Paula’s house to eat pizza, salad and seafood bisque with her family and another couple. Everyone else goes out to smoke and Paula and I start discussing our level of contentment and/or happiness with our lives. We both decide our lives are A+ and this gets me thinking: Is my life an A+ because of being in Denver or is it an A+ because I am the A+ and wherever I go, I will create an A+ life?

The next morning my women’s writing group meets over zoom. The inspirational message of the day is the story of the elephant rope, as story I have heard before but this time it takes on a different meaning.

A gentleman was walking through an elephant camp, and he spotted that the elephants weren’t being kept in cages or held by the use of chains. All that was holding them back from escaping the camp, was a small piece of rope tied to one of their legs.

As the man gazed upon the elephants, he was completely confused as to why the elephants didn’t just use their strength to break the rope and escape the camp. They could easily have done so, but instead, they didn’t try to at all. Curious and wanting to know the answer, he asked a trainer nearby why the elephants were just standing there and never tried to escape. The trainer replied;

“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 only reason that the elephants weren’t breaking free and escaping from the camp was that over time they adopted the belief that it just wasn’t possible.

Is Denver my elephant rope?