Chain Around The Brain

by Daryl Daughtry, Publisher

I used to be in the newspaper business and I really loved it. One of the perks of the newspaper business was getting to enjoy a lot of great experiences.

One such experience was a publicity event for a circus that came to town. The circus wanted us to sponsor an elephant race down main street on a Saturday morning. They wanted city officials like the mayor, police chief, city manager, fire chief, etc. to ride the beasts. And, to my surprise, everyone I asked to be an elephant jockey said, “Yes.”

It was also pretty smart on their part because everyone who needed to sign off on an elephant race down main street on a Saturday morning was going to fulfill a boyhood dream. They get to ride on an elephant just like in the Tarzan movies they watched as a kid.

When the day arrived, the circus trainers brought the elephants downtown in big haulers. They lowered the rear gates of the trucks and led the enormous animals over to a grassy area where they placed a chain, that was only anchored to the ground by a tent stake, around one leg of each elephant.

To my amazement, those massive giants just stayed there, as if they were being held in place by that metal stick in the dirt!

Adult elephants can easily rip trees out of the ground and crush cars with their brute strength. It just made no sense to me that a chain around one leg, that was attached to a stake in the ground, was able to hold them captive so easily. It was totally nuts!

I asked one of the circus handlers why that chain was able to secure the elephants and he casually said, “Because they believe the chain holds them there.” In other words, there was actually an invisible chain around their brain that had the power over them. They had been trained to believe a lie that something wrapped around a single leg could literally contain them. Wow!

Later, I got really curious as to what chains were around my brain that I was allowing to hold me captive. It startled me and dawned on me that a lie is as powerful as the truth, if I believed it to be true. I soberly realized that falsehoods and assumptions are so pervasive in the world and in our lives.

If we are not careful and curious, we will become deceived and limited like those elephants. We will relinquish the freedom that we all covet. The freedom to allow the truth to set us free.

It showed me that when a lot of people (or elephants) think alike about a certain topic, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are right. And, if I believe a certain way about a topic and most people don’t agree with me, it doesn’t necessarily make me wrong. The truth is not something that gets voted on like an election. It is still true, even if nobody agrees with or believes it.

You are not an elephant. Being able to think for yourself is a crucial element of living a healthy and well-balanced life. People have sacrificed their lives in battles so that you have the right and the privilege of thinking for yourself.

Do not allow your desire to be accepted or to fit in tempt you to compromise your independent thinking. Do not sacrifice your values and principles. Do not blindly accept second-hand opinions and facts as being true. Question and verify the information and try to seek out its sources.

So, what chains are around your brain?

personal growth