Are You A Roaring Tiger Or Just A Dog
Fifteen years later, I can still remember the incident vividly. Over and over, the scene returned to me when I’m in times of trouble. Am I a tiger or a dog?
The tiger roared and showed its teeth. I was about to tell my wife to forget about having the photo. It was Pataya Crocodile Farm, Thailand in 1993. We were invited to take a picture petting the tiger. It sounded a great idea and the other tourists were doing it. While getting ready, news about tigers or crocodiles or elephants in developing countries attacking tourists flashed through my mind. I was getting hesitant but was still going for it. Then the tiger roared and showed its teeth and I wanted to call it quits.
Just before I moved my lips, the attending young boy, probably aged eight or nine, slapped the tiger in its face to silence it. The tiger then calmed down and stayed low. My wife asked me whether we should go ahead with the look in her eyes. I signaled OK to her and we had a great photo taken.
Fifteen years later, I can still remember the incident vividly. Over and over, the scene returned to me when I’m in times of trouble. It was one of the most important lessons about life that I learned. What you are by nature really doesn’t matter, if you don’t believe it. That tiger was of course born a tiger. It was entitled to be feared and respected. For years, it was treated like a dog and it never knew it was born a tiger. It will never be a tiger again unless it started realizing this fact and living its part. Throughout my medical career, I have been spending half of my time reassuring patients that they don’t have cancer or a terminal illness that will defeat them with certainty. Many a times, it is what they tell themselves which makes them incurable. For myself, I have to keep telling myself that I am in control and am born to live a happy life helping others no matter what my experience of the day tells me. Often, life sends its young trainer boy to slap us in our face to fool us that we are nothing but dogs to be intimidated. We stay low then we become dogs. Life sends its tourists to take a photo petting us on our heads.
Wake up to the fact that you are a human being born to rule the other animals, even tigers and lions and elephants and sharks. More importantly, you are a human being to get on top of your life itself. Life is here for your pleasure and fulfillment. YOU ARE A ROARING TIGER.
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