There is a story about a circus clown and an elephant who sits on the clown’s hat. The clown gestures wildly and yells at the elephant to move, but the animal ignores him. Frustrated, the clown kicks the elephant, but all he gets is a sore foot. Finally, the clown ridiculously and unsuccessfully tries to lift the elephant. After that, he plops down defeated and eats a peanut. Upon smelling the peanut, the elephant immediately gets up and walks over to the clown, freeing the hat from underneath him.
When we want to get someone to do something — be it our children, our spouse, co-workers, or friends — there are two ways we can go about it. We can use force, or we can use love. As the clown unwittingly demonstrates, the softer touch is often a more powerful force for change.
Whom might you motivate this week? More importantly, how? (DJS)