“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.” ~ Harper Lee
Remember the story about the blindfolded men and an elephant? If not, here’s the gist of it:
Five men examine an elephant by touch. They are trying to determine what it is. But each man is blindfolded. And each feels only one part: a leg, a side, a tusk, the trunk, and the tail. When each declares what is before him, they begin to argue vehemently, each believing he is “right.”
In a sense, they are all “right” because each is describing his own experience and what he is able to perceive from his limited encounter with the elephant. From another perspective, however, none are right because they are far from understanding the whole, or what an elephant truly is.
Like all good parable stories, this one offers wisdom.
May we remember that, even with our eyes wide open,
none of us has full understanding about elephants
or about anything.
With that wisdom, let’s share our views
and listen to one another with curiosity and respect.
Love and compassion too.
PS – One way to better understand one another when we disagree is to say: “Please tell me your story. I want to understand how you see things and how you have come to hold that opinion.” Or, something to that effect in your own words.