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Myles V Saulibio

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My Elephant and Me in the Mekong River
By Myles V Saulibio
Last edited: Saturday, July 28, 2007
Posted: Saturday, July 28, 2007

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Myles V Saulibio

• How to Manage the Pain of Shingles
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Just some things I needed to know about certain aspects of life and people---I learned from atop an Asian Elephant in the Mekong River, Thailand.

Carefully placed behind a Pachyderm’s ears in swirling river waters near the Laotian border, I suddenly wondered if I had enough life insurance. Introspective of me, the experience was also quite thought provoking.

For sure, it doesn’t take a trip to Thailand to have a “moving” experience as I did when you can have the same during the worship experience of your own choosing.

While on my new found friend precariously perched 10 feet above, and moving ever so carefully through the swirling river waters, I drew some life observations and thoughts...

---Patience: A female elephant experiences a 22 months long pregnancy. On the other hand, back home in Orlando, Florida, parents and kids impatiently wait in line for as long as up to 90 minutes to hop on Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride lasting just 2 minutes. Yes, patience is a virtue when stories, poems, and books just don’t seem to make a hit with everyone quicker than what we’d like them to. But all good things take time and patience.

---Caring: Prone to foot infections, pachyderm pedicures are a necessity, not a luxury. The same situation when caring for people, even under the best intentions can be risky. Rejection, loneliness, frustrated relationships abound. But we carefully should handle people and treat others like the way we expect to be treated.

---Regularity: Elephants poop up to 80 pounds a day. We need to stay “regular”, but not that regular!

---Giant Vegetarians: I always need more roughage, goes with regularity issue above.

---No sleeping problems: Most elephants sleep standing up. I feel that same way some day but my legs would give way because of the body weight. Or, do you feel people “sleep” on you when they are bored or distracted?

---Space requirements: They need lots of room to roam and eat. People need space sometimes to sort things out so maybe you should get away to grow and rejuvenate your spirit.

---Run up to 24 mph for short distances. People do get a lot of exercise too: they jump to conclusions, run their mouth, and beat around the bush...

---Weight: they weigh as much as 10,000 pounds or 250 light students. Yes, America has an obesity issue and we need to do something about it.

---Elephant walk. They stomp when they walk but walk quietly even with their wide padded feet. We should “tread lightly” and gently when mending a soured relationship, correcting a misunderstanding, or dealing with abusive behavior.

---Concealment: The Asian Elephant’s gray color conceals them in the jungle. People “hide” their true intentions in order not to reveal themselves. Carefully done, truth and honesty is always the policy.

---Communicate via rumbles, growls, and bellows. We need to grow to recognize the trouble signs in a relationship...from the waning conversations to dead silent treatment. Poor communication can be destructive and harmful.

Yes, in Thailand, I did learn more from an elephant about some of life’s lessons.
Funny things do happen in the strangest of places.

Copyright © 2007 by Myles Saulibio. All Rights Reserved


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