The Elephant And The Blind Man

813 Words 4 Pages
Once upon a time there was a king who lived a secluded life in his castle with three of his most faithful servants. On one occasion a traveling man stopped by and told these wonderful stories about a majestic beast that his people called an elephant. The king listened intently and became extremely curious, wanting to learn more.

All three of the king's loyal servants happened to be blind, but he trusted them more than others. Since the king was unable to get away from the castle himself, he sent these men out to investigate this creature and report back to him with the details.

Making his way to the outskirts of the kingdom, the first blind man came to a village where an elephant was said to be and had the townspeople direct him to it. He
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They did so, and suddenly it all made sense. Only when the king understood what each person perceived and could put them together did the character of an elephant become clear.

When elephants are in the room.

This parable is meant to teach us about perception. Each of us, in a way, is exactly like the blind men in the story: handicapped not by a lack of vision, but by inadequate knowledge.

In developing our views of the world, we're all creating these perceptions from a limited set of experiences and information that is surely lacking. No matter how knowledgeable or intelligent you believe yourself to be, the reality is that you're handicapped (just like all of us are) by the experiences that you've never had and the knowledge you have yet to gain. As a result of this, we meander around this life, every bit as handicapped as a blind traveler - thinking we comprehend the whole picture after having witnessed but a small number of its
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However, none of them had collected enough information to create a more accurate assessment. The first blind man was not wrong to describe parts of an elephant as being like the base of a tree. The other was correct to describe his experience as being like an encounter with a friendly snake. The last could be forgiven for thinking he was dealing with a

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