Posted by: RealisticRecovery | May 24, 2009

Quotes: from Jack Weiner’s book “A New Day”

Quotes: from Jack Weiner’s book “A New Day”

The iron chain and silken cord are both equally bonds“…Johann Cristoph Friedrich von Schiller

A friend of mine tells a story about baby elephants. In countries where elephants are used as working animals, they must be trained when they are very young and not yet too powerful. The first thing a trainer does is fasten a heavy manacle and chain to the baby elephant’s leg, securing the other end of the chain to a metal stake driven deep into the ground. When the elephant tries to walk freely about, it cannot move any farther than the end of the chain. Although the animal may try repeatedly to escape, it is held in check by its unyielding restraint.

After a period of time, the baby elephant stops testing the strength of the chain. It remains within the circle’s limited circumference, completely passive. It has become thoroughly convinced that it can-not escape.

At that point the elephant can be used in the field and easily transferred from one location to another without concern. All it takes to hold the animal, despite its enormous strength, is a light rope and thin wooden stake.

Because once the baby elephant has been conditioned in this manner, he remains convinced for the rest of his life that what was once true will always be true.

Have I begun to get rid of my baby elephant ideas?

Thought For Today: It’s never too soon or too late to change our convictions. (p. 148)

Excerpted from: Weiner, J. B. (1989). A New Day. New York: Bantam Books.

Here’s a few more from “A New Day” :

On  self-confidence: “Never bend you head, always  hold it high. Look the world straight in the  face.“–Helen Keller.

On peace of mind: When we are unable to find tranquillity within  ourselves it is useless to seek it  elsewhere.Duc de La Rochefoucauld.

On  adversity: “Adversity introduces a man to  himself.”–Anonymous.

“Live  each day as if your life had just  begun.“–Goethe.

(“A New Day”  -365  daily meditations, drawn from the author’s own  personal growth over the last decade, each page of  A New Day addresses a specific  struggle–overcoming fear, compulsion, obsessive  love, addiction–and offers practical advice that  will set you on the path to self-improvement. )



  1. i wanna set the baby elephants free, before their wills to escape are broken

  2. “i wanna set the baby elephants free, before their wills to escape are broken”

    Whoah, did I just hear a 12th Step?

    Let me do some quick recovery math:

    Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

    baby elephant = recovering addict/dysfunction survivors everywhere

    heavy chain = addiction/dysfunctional situation

    light rope and thin wooden stake = false perceptions that we can never get better or our situations can’t be changed or escaped

    believing in a “will to escape” and that other baby elephant’s “will to escape” should be protected = spiritual awakening

    wanting to help get the baby elephants to get free = wanting to “carry the message” to those who still suffer

    Thought so. You do the math. Sounds very 12th Step-ish to me anyways.

    Final Score – Baby Elephants: 1, Chains: 0


  3. That must be some of that “new math” I keep hearing about.

  4. LOL.

    Here’s a silly elephant joke:

    An elephant was walking in a park. With each step he took, he squished many little ants. Upset, the ants began to crawl up on the elephant — first his legs and then up all over his body. When the elephant started feeling all the little ants on him, he shook hard, making all the little ants, except for one, fall to the ground. As the only ant on the elephant hung on close to the elephants neck, the ones on the ground began to yell, “Strangle him!!! Strangle him!!!”

  5. I better watch where I step at the park… some of those ants were looking at me funny 🙂

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