Four blind men find an elephant for the very first time, they touch its body to figure out what an elephant is like. One touches its trunk, and thinks that an elephant is like a big snake; another man feels the elephant’s ears and is certain that an elephant is like a big fan. Another man who feels one of the elephant’s legs thinks that an elephant is like a tree – strong and tough. This is disputed by another man who feels the elephant’s tail and is adamant that an elephant is just another type of rope.
Each one only sees a part of an elephant and does not have the full picture – how can they? They can’t wrap their arms around an elephant. This story brought to mind when I saw a clip by Canon about six photographers that were given a task to take a picture of a man. Each photographer was told a different ‘story’ about the man – and it is interesting how each photographer translates their preconceived ideas into their pictures. It’s like photographs of six different persons.
This clip makes me think – some think that I am a strong, dominant type – others think that I am just meek and mild. Some think that I am wise and smart, whereas others may think that I am just a gullible know-it-all. Each may hold on to that preconceived ideas about me, and not wanting to adjust their thoughts. Nobody can know the whole of me – just like a blind man can’t wrap his arms around an elephant. What I wish we all would do is to be open-minded and hear different versions of the same object.
Let us be aware of our pre-conceptions and misconceptions, as there are many different facets to one person. It’s even difficult to rebuke somebody for being judgmental, as those who tell others not to judge, may be the ones who are being judgmental in the process.