Sunday 19 December 2010

Saving Our Elephants

Although it was a long time ago, I still remember Kamahl singing the Elephant Song on stage at Mara Junior Science College, Kota Bharu. He was brought in by the World Wildlife Fund to create awareness among the young minds regarding the importance of conserving the animal Kingdom. In my case, he was successful as the song still resonates with me until today.

There are few things around the Elephant Song.

First, it is about reminding us that we share this planet with others, who may not have high intelligence like us. If some of us believe that by being here first means they have special rights over others, the elephants and other creatures were here even before the first among us. Why are they not accorded similar special rights? I thought by having higher intelligence we carry higher responsibilities to behave better than the animals!

Second, Kamahl was a Malaysian. He migrated to Australia and made his name there. He represents many other Malaysians who discovered better life while being migrants on the land of others. Does this mean we are not good at spotting talents? Or simply, opportunities are not distributed based on merit and fairness but more on who is in control?

Perhaps by being concern about those whose future are at our mercy, we would make ourselves more human. Just wondering when one starts thinking about saving elephants, who is he or she is actually saving, the elephant or himself or herself?

The full lyric of the Elephant song:

Tell me said the elephant
Tell me brothers if you can
Why all the world is full of creatures
Yet we grow in fear of man
Tell me said the elephant
tell me why this has to be
we have to run from man and hunter
never safe and never free


-people kill without regret
although they fly by jumbo-jet
let the word all may remember
let the children not forget.

Gentle is the elephant
Pulling loads and everything
we love to hear the children laughing
when we,re in the circus-ring
Happy was the elephant
Happy was his jungle life
and then they came, the cruel hunters
with their rifle and their knives


Listen, please listen, said the elephant
if we want the world we know, to stay alife
Then man and beast, we must work together
And together we will survive

Listen said the elephant
It is conservation time
So take the warning when we trumpet
For the future of mankind


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