Tag Archives: Sharing

Blindness and Elephants

elephant

The story of the blind men and the elephant originated in India.  It then spread across the world and through history in various versions.  Here’s the main story line:

Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, “Hey, there is an elephant in the village today.”  They had no idea what an elephant was. They decided, “Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway.”

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man, who touched his leg.

“Oh, no! It’s like a rope,” said the second man, who touched the tail.

“Oh, no! It’s like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man, who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It’s like a big hand fan” said the fourth man, who touched the ear of the elephant.

“It’s like a huge wall,” said the fifth man, who touched the belly of the elephant.

“It’s like a solid pipe,” said the sixth man, who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and each of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated.  A wise man was passing by and saw this.  He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?”

They said, “We cannot agree what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like.

The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently is that each of you touched a different part of the elephant.”

What part of the elephant are you holding onto?

Are you willing to listen to the way others describe the elephant?

Are you aware of your blindness?

The Candy Store

Imagine you’re a candy lover.  You like all types of candy.  Actually, that’s not so hard to imagine for most of us.

Imagine you’re placed inside a candy store.  Every type of candy is there.  All of your favorites, and some that you’ve always wanted to try, are right there for you.  New flavors arrive all the time.

You get to have as much candy as you want.  No worries about calories, sugar content, cavities, or the inevitable sugar crash.  Just great candy, and it’s all yours.

Two rules:

  • you only get thirty minutes
  • you can’t take any of the candy with you

I’ve come to view life as that candy store…especially since I’ve been in here for at least fifteen of my minutes.

Here are seven things I’ve learned about the candy store, so far:

  1. It’s important to get the lay of the land before grabbing handfuls of candy.
  2. The best flavors are the most subtle, and often take time to enjoy.
  3. Some candy flavors mix well, others, not so much.
  4. I’ll never be able to taste all of the candy in the store, and that’s okay.
  5. There are just about as many sour candies as there are sweet.  The sour ones help me appreciate the sweet flavors even more.
  6. Most of the candy melts in your hand if you hold on to it for too long.
  7. The best candy, whether sweet or sour, is the candy that you share with those you love.