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Are You A Roaring Tiger Or Just A Dog

Updated on August 20, 2008

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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    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      9 years ago from Hong Kong

      Hi blondepoet,

      thanks for your support. The pic of us with the tiger is in an old album, doing nothing. It will still be there until I have more time to rearrange old photos.


    • blondepoet profile image


      9 years ago from australia

      Benson what an incredible message you have given us here.I am so glad I read this. Where is the pic of you with the tiger? Two great beasts together I would like to see that.

    • Roger Rager profile image

      Roger Rager 

      10 years ago from Greenville, Alabama

      Roger is a born face breaker.. maybe you are too...

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 

      10 years ago from United States

      Wonderful reminder!

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      10 years ago from Hong Kong

      Dear Eric,

      you've got me worried. How was your life changed? For the better , I hope.

    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Oh dear Benson.

      Spryte and Shadesbreath have found you.

      Your life will never be the same !

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      10 years ago from Hong Kong

      Dear Spryte, talented ink and Shadesbreath,

      thanks for the kind words. These will help me to make time to write again tonight.

    • Shadesbreath profile image


      10 years ago from California

      Wow, what an awesome story. The experience itself was interesting on it's own merit, but what you took from it is beautiful and true. Nice work man. Thumbs up.

    • talented_ink profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      This is a fantastic analogy and life lesson and I thank you for sharing it.

    • spryte profile image


      10 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Benson - I am so enamored of your writing style. When that tiger was first reaction was how humiliating for the tiger to be treated that way. But a part of me was glad that he wasn't going to turn you into lunch as well. :)

      My mother was a firm believer in never allowing businesses to treat her like a dog. She was passionate in her belief that companies only got away with what they did because so many people didn't stand up for themselves when they were mistreated...and she brought us all up to never accept less than what we had asked for or paid her eyes it was our DUTY to speak up.

      My mother was definitely a tiger...gentle with those that gave her the respect she deserved and feared by those that didn't.

    • Benson Yeung profile imageAUTHOR

      Benson Yeung 

      10 years ago from Hong Kong

      Dear Eric,

      thanks for the great passage from Williams. I was deeply touched. Glad that I had not read this before I wrote my story. Otherwise, I would feel like a dog and back off.

    • Eric Graudins profile image

      Eric Graudins 

      10 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for this hub. You are dead right.

      I am a great fan of Roy H. Williams, founder of the Wizard Academy.

      Probably the best things he has ever written also compares humans and tigers.

      It's well worth reading.


      Eric G.


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