Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Blind Men and the Elephant

The Blind Men and the Elephant – John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

“”It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind)
That each by observation
Might satisfy the mind.

The first approached the Elephant
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side
At once began to bawl:
"Bless me, it seems the Elephant
Is very like a wall".

The second, feeling of his tusk,
Cried, "Ho! What have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear".

The third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Then boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake."

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!””

Think about this the next time you meet someone, or someone meets you – interests differ depending on the perspective, yet none are wrong – just different. We are drawn to people for different reasons, and those reasons should be respected as such; yet when someone new comes along, it will be respect for yet another reason.

I think it’s more of an understanding that you will see this person in a different light and must be adjusted as such, rather than “training” someone. Adhere to the reasons that make this person respect you for a reason other than what was given by someone else.

Don’t be blind to the fact that everyone has something to offer …

Respect is taken, when Respect is given …

Namaste and Slainte

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