The Elephant Parable
Dialogue has the power to deepen
our awareness of reality.
A colourful example of this insight is
an ancient Indian story around an elephant.
In the parable, a group of blind people surround
an elephant to learn about it’s shape.
After touching the elephant,
they compare their experiences:
“An elephant has the shape of a tree.”
says the person who touched it’s leg.
“Oh. No, no, an elephant is like a wall!”,
says the person who touched it’s side.
“No way, an elephant is like a snake!”
says the person who touched it’s trunk.
The people fight with each other about
who is right and who is wrong.
Until a wise man walks by who describes
the entire elephant and says:
“Each of you is correct! And each of you has only a partial perspective! You need each other to see the full picture!”