Stu Cabe came to Gridley High School with the goal of inspiring every student to become a “big elephant.”
In front of hundreds of students last Thursday, Cabe swayed his arms and trumpeted around impersonating of a large elephant defending an endangered white rhino in a wildlife refuge.
He was demonstrating a story from a program he once watched about a group of young elephants in a refuge that kept attacking a group of white rhinos no matter what the scientists did to stop them.
Finally, the scientists realized that there weren't any older elephants around to teach the young ones. But because of the size of the bigger elephants, there was only enough money to bring in six larger elephants.
Luckily, that's all it took. When the six big, mature elephants were introduced to the group of little elephants, they set the example for the little elephants and everything changed.
“Six big elephants. Not one dead rhino,” said Cabe.
He presented simple tests for each student to see what kind of elephant he or she was.
“If you get a mean text message about someone and you delete it, then you're a big elephant,” he said. “If you add a comment and forward it to 10 of your friends, then you're a little elephant.”
“And if you are the one the wrote that text,” Cabe stated, “You're the smallest of all the elephants.”
His message was simple: “Be nice.”
Cabe explained that if you are only funny at the expense of someone else, then you're not funny at all—you're just a bully, a small elephant.
One of the stories told by Cabe that had the greatest impact was a story he told of his daughter, Maddie. Cabe explained how much his daughter loved princesses when she was younger, until a group of “bullies” ruined it for her—and him.
Read the rest of the story in the April 3 issue of the Gridley Herald.