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Blind Men And The Elephant

elephant wednesday wisdom Jan 22, 2020

Years ago I heard the story of the Blind Men and The Elephant. It is a great metaphor for understanding our blind spots. It goes like this: 

"A group of blind men heard that a strange animal, called an elephant, had been brought to the town, but none of them were aware of its shape and form. Out of curiosity, they said: "We must inspect and know it by touch, of which we are capable". So, they sought it out, and when they found it they groped about it. In the case of the first person, whose hand landed on the trunk, said: "This being is like a thick snake". For another one whose hand reached its ear, it seemed like a kind of fan. As for another person, whose hand was upon its leg, said, the elephant is a pillar-like a tree-trunk. The blind man who placed his hand upon its side said the elephant, "is a wall". Another who felt its tail described it as a rope. The last felt its tusk, stating the elephant is that which is hard, smooth and like a spear."

It's easy to lose our perspective in the midst of an argument, conflict or disagreement. That's why it's important to keep an open mind about where others are coming from. Conflict is always about competing needs. When we stop and see someone's perspective, we might be able to understand their need. If we understand their need we might be able to find a solution that works for everyone. 

When it comes to your relationship, don't be a blind man.

Don't miss a beat!

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