The Elephant - A Short Story

Once upon a time, in a village far away, there lived six blind men.

One day the villagers were very excited, and when they asked what was happening they told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today!"

They had no idea what an elephant was, and so they decided, "Even though we will not be able to see it, we can feel it. Let's go." So, they all went to where the elephant was, and each of them touched it:

"Hey, the elephant is a pillar," said the first man, touching its leg.

"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man, who was touching the tail.

"Oh, no! it is like the branch of a tree," said the third man, touching the tusk of the elephant.

"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man, who was touching its ear.

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man, touching the side of the elephant.

"It is like a pipe," said the sixth man, touching the trunk of the elephant.

They began to argue about what the elephant was like, and each of them insisted that he was right.

They were getting angry, and fists were about to fly, when a wise man, who had come to see the elephant asked what the matter was.

They replied, "We cannot agree what this elephant looks like," and each of them told the wise man what he thought the elephant was like.

The wise man smiled and calmly explained to them, "You are all correct. The reason that each of you experienced it differently is because you touched a different part of the elephant. Actually the elephant has all these features: Its legs are like pillars, its tail is like a rope, its tusks are like the branches of a tree, its ears are like a fan, and it has a trunk, that is just is like a pipe.

"Oh!" the blind men said, and there was no more fighting. They felt happy that they had all been right.

The moral of this story is that even if you don't agree with someone, there may be some truth to what they say. Sometimes we can see that truth and sometimes we can't, because they have a different perspective to us, but rather than arguing like the blind men, we should realise that they have their own experiences that make them think this way. If we can accept this, we are much less likely to get into violent arguments.