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Life lessons from baby giraffe

14 October 2015, 13:20 Anne Muigai

“Never mind how hard you fall, always remember to pick yourself up and get back on your feet,” goes the all too common adage that many regard as just another fad.

Learning how to get up every time you fall is an important life skill that many of us lack yet need direly. Whatever field you pursue, you are bound to encounter stumbling blocks and fall. And so is life. The most important thing is to learn how to wake up and dust off after you fall. This week I stumbled on a piece that has made me pose and reflect.

Baby giraffes never go to school. But they learn a very important lesson rather early in life. A lesson that we need in every aspect of our lives, yet give it little or no attention at all.

The birth of a baby giraffe is quite an earth-shaking event. The baby falls from its mother's womb, some eight feet above the ground. It shrivels up and lies still, too weak to move.

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The mother giraffe lovingly lowers her neck to kiss the baby giraffe. And then something unbelievable happens. She lifts her long leg and kicks the baby giraffe, sending it flying up in the air and tumbling down on the ground. As the baby lies curled up, the mother kicks the baby again and again until the baby giraffe, still trembling and tired, pushes its limbs and for the first time learns to stand on its feet.

Happy to see the baby standing on its own feet, the mother giraffe comes over and gives it yet another kick. The baby giraffe falls one more time, but now quickly recovers and stands up. Mother Giraffe is delighted. She knows that her baby has learnt an important lesson: never to mind how hard she falls, but always remember to pick herself up and get back on her feet.

Why does the mother giraffe do this? She knows that lions and leopards love giraffe meat. So unless the baby giraffe quickly learns to stand and run with the pack, it will have no chance of survival.

Most of us are not quite as lucky as baby giraffes, though. No one teaches us to stand up every time we fall. We rarely have anyone to push us off our comfort zones.

When we stumble and fall, we just give up and lose hope. We get comfortable with where life places us and forget to put to advance, albeit a little.

Many times when we fall, we lack the will to rise above our failures and shortcomings. The giraffe lesson is very inspiring; it teaches us that the road to success is never easy, and we are bound to fail, at one time or another.

It shows us that to succeed, and we have to be relentless and persistent in the face of obstacles, and that success lies in the ability to wake up every time we fall.

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