You Go Before Me

July 20, 2022 –

I still believe children should be seen and not heard, sit in their chairs in a restaurant, and be polite to seniors. This is usually not the case today.

When I see how young children act toward older adults, I am reminded of the elephant rope story. Every circus has elephants. No matter that, they also had clowns, tigers, and dancing dogs. But the elephants, the largest land mammals, draw the attention of boys and girls. Each elephant has a story to tell. The best story is the elephant rope story.

The story illustrates that when a rope ties a baby elephant to a small stake driven into the ground, it will roam out to the rope’s length. The young elephant has not developed its strength and cannot pull up the stake. Later, as the elephant grows, he could easily break free from his rope. So, we condition them to stay within their known boundaries.

I recently entered an elevator with two occupants, an older woman, and a 10-year-old boy. As the elevator moved, the youngster asked me, “How are you doing, mister?” I say fine. When the elevator stopped, and the doors opened, the youngster and I waited for the woman to exit. Then I motioned for the youngster to leave. He said, “No, mister, you go before me. I will keep the door open.”