Once an elephant came to a small town. People had read and heard of elephants but no one in the town had ever seen one. Thus, a huge crowd gathered around the elephant, and it was an occasion for great fun, especially for the children. Five blind men also lived in that town, and consequently, they also heard about the elephant. They had never seen an elephant before, and were eager to find out about elephant.
Then, someone suggested that they could go and feel the elephant with their hands. They could then get an idea of what an elephant looked like. The five blind men went to the center of the town where all the people made room for them to touch the elephant.
Later on, they sat down and began to discuss their experiences. One blind man, who had touched the trunk of the elephant, said that the elephant must be like a thick tree branch. Another who touched the tail said the elephant probably looked like a snake or rope. The third man, who touched the leg, said the shape of the elephant must be like a pillar. The fourth man, who touched the ear, said that the elephant must be like a huge fan; while the fifth, who touched the side, said it must be like a wall.
They sat for hours and argued, each one was sure that his view was correct. Obviously, they were all correct from their own point of view, but no one was quite willing to listen to the others. Finally, they decided to go to the wise man of the village and ask him who was correct. The wise man said, “Each one of you is correct; and each one of you is wrong. Because each one of you had only touched a part of the elephant’s body. Thus you only have a partial view of the animal. If you put your partial views together, you will get an idea of what an elephant looks like.”
The moral of the story is that each one of us sees things exclusively within one’s point of view. We should also try to understand other people’s points of view. This will enable us to get a proper perspective on different situations and events.