A number of years ago there was a problem with the elephant herds on a game preserve in Africa. Because they were protected, the herds were growing to such a size that they were destroying the countryside and even farm crops in a search for food. The local experts decided that the way to control the size of the herds was to “cull” them; to kill the adult bull elephants so that they could not breed.
Elephant herds are matriarchal in nature, in other words the female and young elephants live in a herd under the leadership of the dominant female. Older males live by themselves until it is time to breed. When male elephants are born they live with the herd for protection until they are teenagers, at which time the dominant female kicks them out of the herd so they are not “bothering” the females. Typically, these young males then find an adult bull elephant to live with and learn how a male elephant lives life. Unfortunately, they had killed off all the adult bull elephants. So, much like young males in our culture, with no male role models to teach them, these young pachyderms starting hanging around with each other and eventually formed a “gang” of teenage bull elephants. The results were similar to untrained and unrestrained young males in our culture in that the gang of teenage bull elephants started destroying crops, villages, even killing people.
In light of the recent senseless shootings in our country, I couldn’t help but notice that so far there has not been any mention of a father for the Oregon or Connecticut shooters. In the vast majority of these tragedies the young man’s relationship with his father was non-existent or strained at best. It was seldom one of a guiding, loving, protective nature.
As my wise young friend Justin Farrell remarked, “Perhaps we don’t need more gun laws. Perhaps we need more elephants.”
Watch Rick speak on this subject at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eybK_4ns6Z0