Discover Your Inner Majesty

World Elephant Day inspires awareness of our place in the world and our dependence on one another

Yonason Goldson
Change Your Mind Change Your Life
4 min readAug 10, 2022

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Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

What is it about elephants that captures our hearts?

They aren’t cute. They aren’t soft and cuddly. They don’t make good pets.

Is it their intelligence? The expansiveness of their ears? The simple majesty of their being?

Is it the extraordinary design of their uniquely versatile trunk, a work of engineering genius that can hold eight liters of water, uproot a sapling, or take a peanut from a child’s finger and separate it from its shell?

Or is it the elephant’s capacity to never forget the summons us to remember our own humanity?

Once upon a time…

The Hebrew word zakhor, translated as remember, actually means much more than call to mind. It means take to heart, value, consider as an object of importance.

What is memory but the hope for immortality? Neither is it enough for us to be merely remembered. We want to be thought of with affection. We want to be held in esteem for the investment we’ve made in others, for our accomplishments and achievements. We want our existence to have changed the world in a way that endures after we’re gone.

In short, we want our lives to matter. And we can get awfully cranky when we feel ignored or overlooked.

Armor for the soul

Elephants are pachyderms, which means thick-skinned. As children, many of us were told that we shouldn’t be thin-skinned: we shouldn’t take offense easily or allow the callous remarks of others to penetrate to our hearts and poison our souls.

Which is rather odd, considering our generation’s obsession with political correctness, microaggressions, cultural appropriation, and the disproportionate significance we place on pronouns. In stark contrast to the elephant’s thick skin, we seek out reasons to feel aggrieved by the remarks of others, even when they have no intent to hurt us, even when they couldn’t possibly have anticipated that we might be offended by their words.

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Yonason Goldson
Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Ethics ninja, keynote and TEDx speaker, recovered hitchhiker, podcast host, and community rabbi at yonasongoldson.com