Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Harold Keller

Healing a broken spirit

What do elephants and many children have in common? The answer is a broken spirit. Are the elephants and children born that way? No, they are brainwashed to take the life and fight out of them and to be dominated by outside forces.

The process of breaking the strong spirit of the elephant starts with three days of total isolation from man or beast. Female elephants and their young are social animals and they react to loneliness the same way humans do. They grieve and fret and long for their peers. At that moment of vulnerability, they are brought to a night-time ceremony of fire. Then, for many hours in the flickering light, they are screamed at, intimidated, beaten and ordered back and forth. By morning, they are totally broken and yield to man who becomes their master. In a few days, these wonderfully intelligent animals are transformed from freedom to slavery. How sad!

Much like the plight of the elephants, many young people have had their spirits broken. It takes a little longer, but the results are the same.

What is the process for completely robbing a child of his or her freedom to enjoy life and be excited about their future? Many times it starts in the home. Parents, mostly fathers, are responsible for breaking the spirit of the child. It starts with negative words that discourage achievement and destroys self-image.

A teacher can sometimes be responsible for bringing out the worst in a child, instead of instilling a desire to achieve. Children need to be encouraged and challenged to succeed.

Another contributing factor in breaking the spirit of a child is the entertainment industry – movies, television and music. I’ve often said that it saddens me to think that my grandchildren have never enjoyed some of the really great movies and soothing music of my time.

When a child’s spirit is broken and they feel that life is not that exciting, is it any wonder that they turn to drugs, violence, pornography and illicit sex?

Can a broken spirit be healed? With the elephants, there is no need. Their spirits were broken to work and assist man.

On the other hand, an attempt to heal children with broken spirits is a must if we are to survive as one nation, under God, with liberty and freedomce for all.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get High on Life religious motivational organization. Call 652-8477 or write to P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084.