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The Twelve Foot Shuffle
Some time ago I read the fascinating account of a great brown bear that was bought by the famous zoo in Heidelberg, Germany. Most of its life this bear had been cooped up in an iron cage - 12 foot long, and every waking hour of the day with its massive head swaying rhythmically from side to side it would pace out the dimensions of its captivity - 12 feet forward and 12 feet back. People came to see it. It lived on an unenviable diet of pigs will and slops and the people who came to see it would attempt to stop its pacing by throwing cigarette butts or soft drink cans into its path, and some callous person even fed it hamburger laced with slivers of glass and it haemoraged until the blood ran down to its haunches but some how it survived to continue marching - 12 feet forward and twelve feet back.
But the day came when they were going to transfer it to the famous zoo in Heidelberg. Now I have to explain to you that in the world of bears if you ever make it to Heidelberg Zoo you have arrived. In that zoo bears live on acres of carpet like grass to romp and play on. There are tall trees to climb and scratch on, other bears for fun and fellowship and three square meals a day.
And so they wheeled the big circus cage out onto the compound of the zoo and they opened wide the doors, and what do you think happened?
Oblivious to the open door and the invitation to a brand new life, the big bear continued marching - twelve feet forward and twelve feet back. They called to it soothingly, but it wouldn't come out. They offered it nice fresh food but it preferred its slops. They offered it fun and frivolity but it wouldn't respond and finally in desperation, they took a kerosene soaked rag on the end of a stick and lit it and with fire frightened the bear out of the cage.
And when they got it out into its new surroundings, temporarily disoriented, it looked up sized up the situation and came to a decision and within 30 seconds of being in these salubrious surroundings, dropped its great head into the old familiar stance and began to pace out on the outside the dimensions of its former incarceration - twelve feet forward and twelve feet back - and suddenly it dawned on its keepers that the bears prison was not metal but mental. The bars may as well have been made out of straw as steel. It would not have made any difference.
Reality to that bear - the only reality he could ever accept - was twelve feet forward and twelve feet back. And finally they relieved him through the only door that was left and put him to sleep in death. They lamented their failure, they wondered what more they could have done, but they needn't have. They could have released him into the great Canadian wilderness home of his ancestors, with its salmon filled rivers and great abundance but it wouldn't have made any difference for it wasn't reality to him. The only reality that bear knew was twelve feet forward and twelve feet back.
May I ask you a question? Are you a bear? Are you imprisoned within the confines of your definition of reality? Somewhere along the line you have decided that there is only one way to make a living. You know the one - get a good education, get a good job, get a regular pay check, save for your retirement, retire and go fishing. If that's your definition of reality, you are doing the twelve foot shuffle. There is a better way, tomorrow is another day. It is time to wake up, there's a new game to play. You don't have to live on pigs will and slops, you don't have to do the twelve foot shuffle. Lift up your head, look around, see the opportunities in network marketing and break out of your mental cage.
This article was kindly supplied by Rod and Pauline Hyatt commonly known as "team takasaki", there website is for the education and entertainment of independent Nikken distributors