Several years ago, I caught a flight out of California to attend a funeral back east. During the final leg of my trip, I pulled out a business magazine I had purchased during a layover. An article featuring advice from several leading business giants caught my eye—especially one story in particular. The author was interviewing a CEO of a major global firm and asked him to share any insight gained through his years of experience.
The executive shared a story of a time when he and his family were vacationing in India where they had an opportunity to travel on a guided safari, riding large pachyderms across the landscape. At predetermined points of interest along the route, the group would stop and dismount as their guide prepared to secure each elephant.
He began by driving a steel stake about one foot deep into the ground with a small but weighty hammer and repeated this task in front of each animal. Next, he walked down the line and took the leader rope of each elephant and quickly hitched it around the stake in front of them. The executive became intrigued as he observed the guide’s method of securing each of these majestic beasts. He asked the guide what kept an elephant from simply raising its head and pulling the stake out of the ground and setting itself free. Surely, a small stake only one foot deep couldn’t adequately hold such a large animal in place against its own will. “You are right,” said the guide, “the elephant can easily lift up his head and pull the stake out of the ground. But he doesn’t know that.”
The guide went on to explain that when an elephant is a baby, he’s tied under the same conditions. The baby will pull several times against the stake but cannot set himself free. From that time forward, the baby will grow into an adult, believing that he cannot pull the stake out of the ground. At that moment, the CEO thought of all the people he had known in business who demonstrated the same affliction as those elephants—people who were capable of much greater things in life but were somehow tied to the stake of their own memories and imaginations, unable to lift their heads and set themselves free.
This story resonates today. In our current time, we have gone from the Information Age to the Age of Misinformation. The socialist lie of victimhood has targeted your generation and caused many of you to believe that the government is your answer to a fulfilled life. Personal ambition and responsibility are deemed sordid and penurious. Don’t believe it! If socialism were truly superior to our free market system, American citizens would be storming the gates of nations throughout Central and South America rather than vice versa.
Seek and demand the truth. Educate yourself. Take responsibility. Lift your head. Be free.
John Alexander, Washington
I have told my son since he was small, “What are the five most important words you can tell someone?”
“How can I help you?”
He is 29 years old and has never forgotten that.
I believe if more younger people thought that way, especially to older citizens, things wouldn’t be as bad as they are now!
Peter Moale, California
What advice would you like to give to the younger generations?
We call on all of our readers to share the timeless values that define right and wrong, and pass the torch, if you will, through your wisdom and hard-earned experience. We feel that the passing down of this wisdom has diminished over time, and that only with a strong moral foundation can future generations thrive.
Send your advice, along with your full name, state, and contact information to NextGeneration@epochtimes.com or mail it to: Next Generation, The Epoch Times, 229 W. 28th St., Floor 7, New York, NY 10001