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Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

91. The boy who banged a drum

Once upon a time, there was a small boy who banged a drum all day and loved every moment of it. He would not be quiet, no matter what anyone else said or did. Many “wise wo/men” were called in by the neighbors and asked to intervene.
Lots of good ideas were proffered. The first wise person told the boy if he continued to play the drum by that fashion he would break his eardrum. This reason was too advanced for the child, as he was neither a scientist nor a scholar. The second told him that drum-beating was a sacred activity and should be carried out only in special occasions. The noise continued. The third offered the neighbors plugs for their ears. The fourth gave the boy a book; the fifth gave the neighbors books that described a method of controlling anger through biofeedback; the sixth gave the boy meditation exercises to make him placid and explained that all reality was imagination… the noise continued. The seventh brought education. The boy then taught he had a disease and still banged on the drum.
Finally, and adult passionate about his efficacy with children came along. He looked at the situation, handed the boy a hammer and chisel, and said, “I wonder what is inside the drum?”
Main Uses: : Metaprograms, Leadership and levels of change
Also Useful For: 3rd Generation of NLP
Submitted By: Goreti Lima
Source: Adapted from the Sufi tradition

Index of Metaphors

1 thought on “Metaphors for NLP & Teaching

  1. Sarah

    Hello Dr. Cullen,

    What a great list of metaphors! Thank you for creating this great resource for people to use freely. I was wondering if there would be any way to have each metaphor page set up with a link that says "printable version", or something similar, allowing for easy printing of a particular metaphor?

    Thanks again for setting this up. It is a really useful resource not only for me, but for my students as well.

    All the best to you,

    SJ Marubay

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