Fiction / Under 600 words

The six blind men & the elephant

There were six men of Meadowfield, to learning much inclined,

Who went to see an elephant, though all of them were blind,

That each by observation might satisfy his mind.

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brown brick wallThe first approached the elephant, and happening to fall

 Against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl,

“This mystery of an elephant is very like a wall.”

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spearThe second, feeling of the tusk, cried, “Oh, what have we here,

So very round and smooth and sharp? To me it is mighty clear,

This wonder of an elephant is very like a spear.”

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cute snake cartoonThe third approached the elephant, and happening to take

 The squirming trunk within his hands, thus boldly up and spake,

“I see,” quoted he, “the elephant is very like a snake.”

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 elephant and six menThe fourth reached out an eager hand, and felt above the knee,

“What this most wondrous beast is like is very plain” said he,

“‘It is clear enough the elephant is very like a tree. “

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fan colour inThe fifth who chanced to touch the ear said, “Even the blindest man

Can tell what this resembles most; deny the fact who can;

This marvel of an elephant is very like a fan.”

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elephant and blind menThe sixth no sooner had begun about the beast to grope,

Than seizing on the swinging tail that fell within his scope;

“I see,” said he, “the elephant is very like a rope.”

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blind men and elephantSo six blind men of Meadowfield disputed loud and long,

Each in his own opinion exceeding stiff and strong;

Though each was partly in the right, they all were in the wrong!

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Moral

  • Sometimes, when we view things, we tend to look for the differences while we may get distracted by similarities, but we may miss the truth entirely!

  • “We have to remember that what we observe is not nature in itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning.” – Werner Heisenberg

  • “If each had a candle and they went in together the differences would disappear.” (Rumi)

  • “Attacking one element of injustice gives a limited and sometimes inaccurate perspective of the big picture!”

  • “As we apply this to organizations around the globe, we see that it is NOT the people who are blind – they see issues VERY clearly! But they see these issues through the lens of their position – Sales, Production, Finance, Logistics, HR…using the elephant metaphor above; it is the organization that is functioning “blindly”.  “

  •  “Seeing the whole elephant:  When we create for ourselves opportunity to stand back a little, we give ourselves a better chance to see the whole, with all senses and with more ways of knowing – with what is offered by all disciplines.We can experience the whole elephant.”

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Based on http://johncounsel.net/popups/p-hindustan.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant and http://www.galagala.org/the-blind-men-and-an-elephant-why-gala-is-needed/ , http://recoverynetworktoronto.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/the-six-blind-men-and-the-elephant/ , http://theblindelephant.com/the_blind_elephant_fable.html

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Image Credits: Hans Moller of mollers.dk ,

 http://mappingignorance.org/2013/07/25/selective-ignorance-in-science/ , maddy06.blogspot.com –  wordinfo.info – http://www.galagala.org/the-blind-men-and-an-elephant-why-gala-is-needed/ , snarkytheclown.wordpress.com , eureka2814.livejournal.com – heightslibrary.org – www.colormegood.com –

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5 thoughts on “The six blind men & the elephant

  1. Pingback: Enam orang buta dan seekor gajah | almatin siswanto

    • Dear Hans Moller,
      We usually acknowledge the source of all images used in our stories at the bottom of the stories, under “Image Credits”. I apologise for not mentioning your name at the bottom. I have just realised my mistake. I will add your name at the Image Credits now. Sorry for any inconveniences caused. We have probably gotten your image from another website, which is listed in our “Image Credits”. However, if there is a cost involved in using your illustration, let me know. I will remove your image as soon as I can. This blog is done as a hobby and I do not make any money from it. It would be greatly appreciated if you would let us use your illustration above for free though. We will be very honoured to be able to use your illustration free-of-charge, with your permission, of course.
      Anyways, thank you for writing in. We hope that you enjoy all the stories on our little blog.

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