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So on my way home from Lowes over the weekend I was listening to The Seven Decisions by Andy Andrews on Audible when a story about a wealthy businessman completely messed my head up for the rest of the day. Not sure if the story is true or not but the message is definitely real.
There lived a wealthy businessman who owned a private zoo. His "collection" was far more complete than any other zoo in the world. One day he learned of a rare and elusive species of gazelle that roamed the plains of Africa. No zoo had that type of gazelle and he wanted to be the first. So he traveled to Africa to capture this animal. After his arrival he met with the locals to see where he could find the gazelle, but was told that the animal was too fast and too large to capture alive. To which he replied "I'll capture it. I'll have as many as I want." A local guide takes him to a field where a herd of the particular gazelle grazes. The businessman sets up camp a little ways away and spreads the field with a mixture of sugar and oats. The animals eat the bait overnight and the next day he spreads the mixture again. This goes on for a few days until the businessman sets a post while spreading the feed. A few days later he spreads the feed and sets another post. Another few days - another post. Six weeks goes by and now there is almost a complete corral with a small opening for the gazelles to get in and out. Finally! The herd returns to their sugar and oats, but the businessman is waiting. After the animals go in he closes off the corral and takes his pick among the animals.
When asked how he knew how to capture the animals, he replies "This is how I treat people. I give them what they want: shelter, food, etc.; and they give me their beauty and freedom."
We give up our freedom and beauty daily. Each day we become a bit more comfortable with the corrals being put up around us - be it relationships, careers, or health and all of sudden we're trapped. Realizing you're stuck in abusive relationship after slowly becoming used to or making excuses for each small injustice. You've structured your life to be dependent on the steady paycheck provided to you by the job you know you would hate to do until you're 65 or 70. You step on the scale one day and realize you're 100 pounds overweight, because you eat out, watch TV for hours, and ignore the decreasing amount of pants that actually fit you anymore.
Take note of the posts coming up around you. Don't let them become your corral. Your beauty and freedom are at stake.
“One must always be careful of books," said Tessa, "and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” - Cassandra Clare