True North Productions

We Can Learn About a Strong Family Unit and Family Love, From Elephants

Recently, I had the opportunity to share an adventure at a wild animal park dedicated to giving retired and current show business animals a good home. I was thrilled to spend time with five African elephants that live on the park grounds. What a joy it was to watch the elephants interact and hear their trumpets and rumbles to each other – they are such powerful animals!

In fact, elephants are some of the most intelligent animals on Earth. They commonly show grief, humor, compassion, cooperation, self-awareness, tool-use, playfulness, and demonstrate excellent learning abilities. As a strong family unit, female elephants display instinctive protective tendencies toward the younger members of the family, and mother elephants pay close attention to their children at all times (except when she leaves the young one with trusted babysitters). I’ve watched documentaries about elephants that show incidences where the herd senses the babies are threatened. The elephants then form a circle around the babies and protect them with their bodies. We can learn a lot about a strong family unit and family love, from elephants.

Humans, on the other hand, while having some instincts toward nurturing and protecting their young, vary as to how they either nurture their young, or not. It really doesn’t take a lot of time to nurture a child every day – certainly a 10-second hug can fit into every busy parent’s schedule! The other day, one of my brothers told me  that he has no recollection of our mother ever giving him a hug. I thought about that for few moments, and I couldn’t remember having been hugged by her either.

As I relate in True North – The Shocking Truth about “Yours, Mine and Ours”, growing up in a dysfunctional family environment can result in accumulated emotional baggage we may carry with us for our entire adult lives. But this doesn’t mean we have to suffer this burden forever. We can, and must do something about it! Through professional help and support groups, survivors of child abuse, neglect and domestic violence have opportunities to revisit and deal with emotional and psychological traumas. My mission is to offer help, and hope. Check out the list of resources in my book, and on the Resources Page at


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