An Elephant, A Wise Man and Six Blind Men
Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.” They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway”, so all of them went where the elephant was.
Finally they’ve arrived. Each of them went to touch the elephant.
The first blind man touched the elephant’s leg and said, “Hey, the elephant is a pillar.”
The second blind man touched the elephant’s tail and said, “Oh, no! It is like a rope.”
The third blind man touched the elephant’s trunk and said, “Oh, no! It is like a thick branch of a tree.”
The fourth blind man touched the elephant’s ear and said, “No, it’s like a big hand fan.”
The fifth blind man touched the elephant’s belly and said, “It is like a huge wall.”
Then the sixth blind man touched the elephant’s tusk and said, “It is like a solid pipe.”
Hearing how the other men described the elephant, they disagreed and began to argue about the elephant. In true fashion, each of them insisted that he was right.
As the debate continued, it began to look like they were getting agitated. Their fellow villagers began to position themselves for what appeared to be a fight. Wagers were privately made amongst the onlookers for who they believe would win and right.
The situation looked grim until a wise man passing by saw the commotion and stopped to ask the six men, “What is the matter?”
One of the blind men exclaimed, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Not to be overlooked, each blind man told the wise man what he thought the elephant was like.
Calmly, the wise man responded by saying each of them were right, then explained why.
The reason why you all are correct is that each of you are sharing what you feel, but from a different perspective. Each one of you touched the different part of the same elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said, but that isn’t the whole elephant.
We could continue observing this exchange, but the moral of the story is that there may be some truth to what someone says. Demonstrate consideration.
Sometimes we can see that truth and sometimes not because they may have a different perspective, experiences, comprehension, level of interaction or bias which we may not agree too or understand. So, rather than arguing like the blind men, we should say, “Maybe you have your reasons.” This way we don’t get in unnecessary, unproductive and endless arguments.
The theory of manifold predictions teaches tolerance towards others for their viewpoints. It is a path towards peace that leads you into a place of harmony with the people of different thinking.
This is also found within various religious practices as well, but the very mentioning of religion has the ability to turns some into blind men.
It can be found in our politics, but the mentioning of politics has the ability to blind men as well.
We can utilize it in conversations regarding race, but the slightest mentioning of race in any situation has blinded many men.
For some, the mentioning of sex blinds them. One can only assume that the glare that shines from how one finds love proves to be too bright.
You may find that the mentioning of money, finances, investments, taxes, tithing or economics turns some into blind men.
An optometrist couldn’t help those who suffer from blindness at the utterance of abortion.
Finally, there are those that the suggestion of forgiveness, consideration or tolerance blinds them.
Perhaps they can not see how not practicing sincere consideration can eventually hurt them more than it hurts or opposes others.
Whatever it may be for you, what isn’t expressed is why the one with sight was considered to be wise? Could it be the way he approached the situation?
When you look at our society today and observe what is being said, considered and practiced, you wonder why and how so many people believe what they see on television, hear on the radio or read in various publications as if that is the only choice or correct perspective. They typically will not consider another point of view unless it comes from someone who considers them in some way.
Consider your approach.
The wise man could have laughed at the blind men and called them foolish. He could have said to his friends that these people are crazy. He could have just shook his head and kept walking and accepted the attitude that whispers to your conscious, “It’s not my problem.”
Perhaps the wise man could have even observed the blind men and corrected each of them where they were wrong, raised question of the validity of each of their claims, then dismissed them for being a bunch of blind kooks. Instead he decided to solve the problem instead of enhance it.
Consider what you can do when you encounter the blind that gathers around the elephant. How can you help? Perhaps you may realize that they’re not the only blind ones, but you’ll never know what you all can see together when you close your eyes to consideration.
Life’s most persistent question asks; what are you doing for others?