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You’re a 12,000 pound elephant

Posted: Monday, June 22, 2020. 8:47 am CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Charles Leslie Jr: I know most of you have been at a circus at some point in your life.

No, I am not talking about a House Meeting.   Have you ever noticed an elephant anchored to the ground?

You might have noticed that the elephant has a metal collar around its leg attached to a small chain.

And that poor little chain is attached to a wooden peg driven into the ground.

Oh boy, what a strong little chain and peg, right?

That 12,000-pound elephant could flick it’s leg and with one fell swoop yank that peg out of the ground and walk away.

But the elephant doesn’t. Why? Let me explain.

When that elephant was still a baby, that same collar, chain and peg were used to hold the elephant in place.

The restraint was sufficient to hold the baby elephant in place even if it wanted to break away. And break away is indeed what the baby elephant tried to do.

So every day while the baby elephant was chained up, it would pull at the chain and pull and pull until finally a cut appeared on its leg exposing the sore sensitive layers of deep skin tissue.

It hurt to pull like that and soon the baby elephant, realizing the effort was both futile and painful, stopped trying to escape.


As the baby elephant grew older, it never forgot that bad experience with the chain and the peg.

And so whenever it was anchored down in a spot, it would think, “Mein, eh haahd fi bruk outta dis ting, and eh hurt no bakside.”

The adult elephant had what is called ​”Learned Helplessness.”

All of us have the same problem to one degree or another.

We all have the power to change Belize, but at one point in our lives, and how our entire economic and political system is set up (a Monarchy), we have all had one or more experiences, where we tried to stand up against the “system” and got hurt.

The system of government that we have in Belize, similar to 54 other former British colonies is a colonial system. In fact, it is properly called a “monarchical system”. ​ – We The People Concept Paper

I am sure many of you can share a horror story or two.

Those experiences are more norm than exception in Belize, to anyone who tries to change things, try to make things fair, transparent, fight corruption…

It creates great feelings of inadequacy, and these experiences are still in our subconscious, and believe it or not, they really do affect us.

If you understand the hurt and you understand some of the constraints we put upon ourselves, then you are better able to cope with breaking out of ​Learned Helplessness​ and become anything you want to be and accomplish anything you want to accomplish.

I invite you to solve this very simple 9-point puzzle.

The rules to solve this puzzle are very simple. You must draw four straight lines and connect all the points without taking your pen off the page. In short, all the lines have to be connected.

Most people who try to solve the puzzle make one fatal error: they constrain themselves, which comes from Learned Helplessness.

PS: Don’t cheat by Googling it. That will only confirm, even more so, that you are not even trying to break the chains of Learned Helplessness.


In Belize, we need to understand that we have kept ourselves in a very closed box when it comes to finding solutions to our problems. And the results have been devastating to the vast majority of Belizeans.

I say this because I have taken it into very careful consideration: oftentimes to solve important problems we need to go outside the problem area to find answers.

It is my humble opinion that it will be leaders outside of Belize City that can find real, long term solutions to the problems affecting all of Belize, including Belize City.

And no, I am not referring to which political party that person should be from.

Hon. Rodwel Ferguson: has proven himself, based on my personal and professional experience, to be a man of honor, and genuinely care about the people he represents. If this man had access to proportional budgetary allocation, the things he could have done, I can only imagine.

Wil Maheia: almost more than anyone else I know, deserves to be given a chance. He has done so much already for the entire country, imagine what he can do if elected?

Robert Lopez: has an outlier work and business ethic. He says he is a capitalist, but from my observation of him running his business, it is social democratic, which I have learned to understand is simply a better balance between socialism and capitalism.

Patrick Rogers: but he is from Belize City – you may scream. He may live in Belize City, but his heart and soul is connected to every corner of Belize. This man, in my opinion, has mastered the art of Occam’s Razor…in the sense that he can take very complex issues and topics, especially economics, which involves a lot of mathematics, and break it down in layman’s terms. This is a very rare art in politics, which most politicians do the very opposite – complicate simple ideas to confuse and distract.

Darrel Bradley: if this man doesn’t become the next leader of the UDP, then…well, let me remain in a positive frame of mind. The man is a statesman, he is fair, he dislikes corruption, he has and is willing to challenge the status quo.

Now, I can go on, however, my point is this: we as a people really do need to see above and beyond political colors.

These are the types of Belizeans who will reach across and out of Belize to seek solutions. They will not only think outside the box, they will get rid of the damn box.


And only we, and I repeat this is my humble opinion, outside of Belize City can make this happen: we are the 12,000 pound elephant who can easily break free and in doing so, can free our brothers and sisters in Belize City.

The problems of Belize City were once…well, Belize City’s problems. However, we now all realize that when one suffers, we all suffer.


Hey, I am a dreamer. My daughter and x-wife used to look at me like I was a nut. My mom still does.

But, I get to lay in my hammock every morning, before I go to work, and listen to the birds sing in a quiet Placencia morning and I have faith…that one day, when my daughter and son are adults, the wild west Belize has come to be known, will be a long distant memory.

And I have an unshakable hope for the future, that I can rest well knowing that the battles I have fought, little they may be, were not​ pyrrhic.

“To my children, who may read this one day, and to all young Belizeans…ad astra per aspera…” ​ – Charles B. Leslie Jr. May the Good Lord continue to Bless our beautiful country and our amazing people.


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