Based on a Proverb from Botswana
Mama and Papa Elephant have three little elephants:
Busy, Bored and Balanced.
Busy wakes up every morning and looks at her endless To Do list. She races down to breakfast and gobbles her porridge so she can dig for diamonds before school. No time to talk. She runs to put her dishes in the dishwasher…
“Oops! Oh no!”
Crash! Bang! Shatter!
“Haste makes waste. The broom waits in the closet,” says Mama Elephant.
After cleaning up her broken dishes, Busy is off to school. Before school, she signs up for soccer and tennis.
In between classes, Busy tries to finish her library book and do her homework. After school Busy signs up for guitar, xylophone, and drum lessons. On the way home, she stops at the library to check out another book and stays for chess club.
The second little elephant, Bored on the other hand, wakes up and complains, “What am I going to do today? I’m bored.”
At breakfast, Bored looks at the porridge and says, “I’m tired of porridge. Is there anything else to eat?”
Papa Elephants says, “You haven’t even tried it. Think of those who don’t have enough to eat and be grateful. For those that don’t appreciate porridge, breakfast is finished.”
While waiting for the school bus, Bored complains, “I’m bored. There isn’t anything to do.”
“Only uninterested people are bored. Let’s look around and set some goals,” says Mama Elephant.
On the bus Bored complains, “I’m bored.”
The bus driver suggests, “Look at the scenery, count the flowers, find unique license plates. Have you heard the proverb, ‘It is better to walk than curse the road?’”
At school, yet again, Bored complains, “I’m bored.”
“How can you be bored learning about our wonderful world?” asks her classmate.
Can you guess who was bored after school? Who has trouble making friends?
The third little elephant, Balanced, plans her calendar a month at a time. She decides to play golf and practice to play like a pro. She picks one activity at the Botswana National Library, the knitting class. She chooses one musical instrument, the banjo. She plans one extra excursion per week. This week she will go to the Jwaneng Diamond Mine and next week she will attend the Donkey Races. Balanced schedules play time, homework, and free time. Balanced looks forward to each event every day and free time as well. Balanced pops out of bed when her opportunity clock rings.
At breakfast, Balanced relishes each bite of porridge and talks with Mama and Papa Elephant about the many things for which she is grateful. She finishes refreshed, ready for a new day.
On the bus, Balanced greets the bus driver, attentively listens to her friend’s stories, and admires each unique animal they pass.
At school, Balanced listens and absorbs all the amazing facts, lessons, and solutions. She enjoys every minute so much, she can’t pick a favorite subject. Balanced likes them all. In between classes she stops to thank each teacher.
Balanced, Bored, Mama, and Papa Elephant all sit down to a scrumptious dinner of Seswaa. Bored has nothing to contribute to the conversation except, “I’m bored.”
Busy arrives home late and her dinner is cold.
Mama and Papa Elephant ask, “Where were you? We were worried about you.”
Busy falls asleep as she begins explaining.
Oh no! What a mess!
Frustrated Bored and Busy notice how happy Balanced, Mama, and Papa are.
“Why am I bored?”
“Why am I overwhelmed?”
Papa advises, “The fool is thirsty in the midst of water.
If you have a problem, it’s better to deal with it than to just sit there and complain.”
Bored decides, “I’m going to set goals, work hard, and enjoy each minute from now on.”
Busy decides, “I’m going to slow down and enjoy one thing, one minute at a time.
And do you know what? Busy and Bored are now Balanced II and Balanced III and enjoy every minute of their full lives.