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Elephants can teach us a lot about how to live

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There is much suffering around the world, felt by individuals from every species. However, it’s the way that the pain is dealt with that will reveal one’s true nature.

A judge of character and extensive research reveals that the species that is uniquely set apart from others in both size and intellectual ability is the elephant. In and of themselves, elephants have a gift: a gift for compassion and forgiveness, love and community. They are the epitome of forgiveness, although ultimately humans are the ones paving the road toward their eventual extinction. While it’s not completely fair to compare elephants and humans, there is still so much that we have to learn from elephants.

While humans can be erratic and petty, elephants take life as an opportunity for forgiveness and selflessness. Now, their willingness to forgive isn’t something to take lightly. Unlike many other animals, their abilities for long-term memory and complex emotions are off the charts. Additionally, their deep connections among their intergenerational herds show a far greater level of intelligence than we could ever imagine. Even with their acute ability to remember the past, they still choose to forgive. What continually amazes me is that elephants are no strangers to physical and emotional abuse at the hands of humans, yet they are the ones with enough tenderness to still nurture and care for both their own kind and other species.

Because of that, they are considered to show strong signs of altruism, or caring for other species even when there is no personal gain. Countless stories and videos relay loud and clear that elephants consistently choose to be selfless in any situation with any species. In terms of character judgment, that speaks volumes. Time and time again, it’s been determined that elephants can analyze complex situations and have a wide range of emotions to draw from; but when will the evidence be enough for humans to actually take action against abuse and poaching of elephants?

In the eyes of an elephant, no emotional wound will bear scars or have any bearing on their treatment of others, and no indiscretion will warrant a long-lasting grudge. That’s an astounding quality in elephants, especially compared to the statistic that on average, 100 elephants are killed every day by poachers harvesting their ivory tusks.

In short, elephants are compelling examples of what it means to live. Their consistent grace and forgiving nature truly set them apart from other species, making them the perfect example to live by.

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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central
Elephants can teach us a lot about how to live