If a King gives you a white elephant, watch out.
It’s a blessing because it’s a sign of status, wealth, and respect. But, it’s also a curse, because you can’t (traditionally) use a white elephant for labor, it’s expensive to keep around, and it’s a friggin’ elephant, so what else are you going to do with it?
Seth Godin flipped this recently into a reminder about gifts: We don’t have to accept them.
If someone asks us to do something, take something, or whatever, we have to remember – it’s optional.
We have enough to do already, we don’t need any white elephants hanging around. “No thank you,” is a perfectly polite and responsible answer.
Even to a King.
Check out the Akimbo podcast, season 10, episode 4, “The White Elephant“