Water for Elephants

I’ve been very busy this weekend.

You might notice this website has a little bit of a different look, a different comment system (which, by the way, some comments from the old system you may have left might have disappeared in transition due to a technical glitch — sorry!), and most importantly, a brand spankin’ new logo! Try to remember it. You’re going to be seeing a lot more of it soon! In addition to my regular web presence and a family website just for us to communicate internally, I’ve also been busy trying to prepare for finals and rounding out the school year. With work exhausting me at every given opportunity, I have to say that I’m relieved that I once again decided to abstain from summer classes. I’m really looking forward to a few months of getting to come home from work and not have to worry about any assignment deadlines. On top of everything, a good friend of mine that has been a regular presence in my life for well over a decade now recently got married and had her reception this weekend. It was a nice affair with food and beer and a lot of great people to catch up with.

The elephant photo in question. Photo credit unknown.
The elephant photo in question. Photo credit unknown.

I’ve been thinking a lot this weekend as well. It’s very likely that I have the magic of Facebook to blame, but I’ve caught myself thinking about former friends and estranged family members. As sad as it is, nothing really lasts forever in this life. People are going to come and go from your life all the time. And that’s okay. Sometimes it’s even for the better. A lot of the people in question, I have no real desire or immediate plan to cross paths with again. But as I’ve gotten older, it’s never gotten any easier or less disheartening when you start to grow distant from someone you thought was going to be around forever. I don’t know about everyone else, but once I actually start to think ill of someone that I held in such high regard, all the other little things that I’ve noticed about them in the past start flooding back to me as well. After we fell out, I realize that you probably didn’t leave me at that party or forget my birthday gift at home that year “by mistake.” But I can’t say that I’m perfect either. There’s at least one friend in particular that I’ve been freezing out as well. Understand that it’s for what I believe to be a pretty good reason, but it’s still petty nonetheless.

During one of my mind-wandering trips elsewhere late this evening, I found my way over to Pinterest. Without getting any kickbacks from the site whatsoever, let me just say that if you don’t have a Pinterest account, you really need to sign up. It is the ultimate rabbit hole of great ideas. If you want a million and one amazing ideas for practically anything, the Pinterest community has got you covered. But as I’m scrolling and pinning delicious-looking Instant Pot recipes and adorable baby animals to my boards, I was struck by this beautiful photograph. It looks to be of a mother and baby elephant in a tight embrace with one another. It made me think about how intelligent and gentle elephants are. It’s incredible and inspiring to see how tightly-knit their family units are as well. They travel together, they help one another, they take care of each other. They even ward off predators together. A mother and child’s bond are especially heartwarming. After pinning this photo, I continued on scrolling through my Pinterest feed to find even more photos of animal families together. Lions and their cubs. Dogs with litters of puppies. Baby foxes, polar bears, horses, and kangaroos. All of them filling my heart as well as my Pinterest boards. By the time I eventually paused for thought, I realized that I had only one question that I can’t find the immediate answer to.

Why can’t we love like the elephants?

Elephant family units don’t treat each other like garbage and buckle under the stress of a grandmother or uncle passing away. Elephants aren’t upset that their friends didn’t call them after they got married. They aren’t being haters about who they voted for in the last election or whether or not they got stood up at a party. They aren’t discriminating about each other’s skin color or system of beliefs or who they decide to love. The love an animal has for its pride actually is forever. They are “ride or die” as today’s kids might say. It’s an incredibly sweet and beautiful thing and I don’t understand why we, as human beings, as supposedly the most intelligent and sophisticated life forms on our planet, are incapable of truly replicating. It simply just doesn’t make sense to me.

I’ve always thought that we could learn a lot from the animal kingdom. I think this could be one of the lessons that I should start taking a cue from myself.

Author: Joseph Black

According to Wikipedia, I discovered magnesium and carbon dioxide, so that's something.

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