Today, we talk about the giraffe. The tall lanky animals with the long neck. You may remember stretching your neck in class to copy from someone’s work and hearing the teacher’s voice boom ‘No giraffing’. But here’s some news: it’s time to do some ‘giraffing’ into your future. Please stretch your neck, stretch it right out and see beyond the obvious. Stretch it and see where you are going. And with that picture fixed in your mind, work towards achieving your dreams.
The giraffe reaches right to the top to get green leaves to feed on. What stops you from feeding off your dreams? Any creative person will tell you, each work starts with a vision. A journey without a known destination is simply wandering. A proposal without clearly defined objectives will get thrown out. So dream it, then stretch your neck and reach out for it.
Giraffes are graceful gentle creatures. When you watch them in a safari, you get the feeling that they don’t have a care in the world. But they do, giraffe meat is a lion’s favourite and so giraffes are on a constant look out for the enemy. Humans too have daily worries. And when you look around or meet people they seem to always be angry. If they were giraffe’s they wouldn’t wear their problems on their foreheads. They would be gentle and graceful even though they are aware of the dangers around them. Advice: Act like you don’t have a care in the world, it doesn’t take away your problems…it just lowers your blood pressure. As my Nutri C wrist band says: keep your fears to yourself, but share your inspiration with others.
Giraffes are non-territorial, they move in herds without any discriminatory structures, instead they only have nurseries to keep the young ones protected. The giraffe doesn’t care who is tall, short, pretty, ugly, intelligent, foolish, Hausa, Igbo,Yoruba, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Anglican, Catholic, PDP, ACN, CPC…every giraffe is a giraffe. Come to think of it, are we not all humans? Made from dust? Returning to dust? Giraffes teach us to be sociable, mix with others and gain from them and forget about creed, colour or political affiliations.
But by far the biggest lesson I learnt from the giraffe relates to how a baby giraffe is born: first it drops from a height of eight feet and lands on the ground, the mother smooches the baby with her neck and then just when the baby is beginning to get used to the smooching and is looking too lazy to rise, she kicks it right off the ground into the air and it lands with a thud. Now if baby giraffe still doesn’t get it, the mother keeps kicking until it does: the baby must learn to walk and run as soon as it is born to increase its chances at survival.
Two lessons from the giraffe’s birth.
1. No matter where you fall from you can rise. If you don’t know how tall eight feet is to a baby giraffe, think of yourself falling from a story build! Yet, the giraffe rises, walks and then runs.
2. It takes love to kick a friends butt. The mother giraffe smooches the baby and then kicks. No time for unnecessary displays of affection. There is a time and a place for that. When you see a friend wallowing in self pity because they have fallen, do you let them be? Whatever for? You need to find the courage to kick them hard and good. How will they get back their senses if all you do is sigh and say ‘it is well’? Do something! Are they depressed? Drag them out for a walk, spend time with them. Love them then kick them.
And if you don’t have a friend you can trust to kick your butt, I’m up for hire!
That’s it on lessons from animals for the week. I am @anabagail on Twitter and I’m always learning:)