These are indeed times of uncertainties as the Coronavirus pandemic rages on. When shall things normalise? Next month, in two months, six months? Some projections estimate that we shall continue to deal with the diversity of COVID-19 pandemic well into 2021.

Suddenly, our year 2020 projections and goals are on ‘lockdown’ due to the related socio-economic disruptions and displacements caused by the import of the Coronavirus pandemic.

I digress. Let’s relate with this old fable:


According to the tale, there was once a tourist who was startled by the sight of some Elephants who were held by a tiny rope during a pre-circus show. The sight before him was that two huge creatures were held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages, no bars.

It was obvious that the elephants could, at any time, break away from their bonds, but for some reasons, they did not.

Fascinated, the tourist approached one of the circus handlers nearby and asked why the animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well,” the handler said, “when they are very young and much smaller, we used this same size of rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. Initially they tried to break free but the rope held them back.

So 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 tourist was stunned. 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, controlled by a strand of rope they could easily break apart.

The reality: Like the elephants, this is how many of us have allowed the social construct around the Coronavirus pandemic to rob us of our goals and aspirations.

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