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Truth is a matter of PERCETION

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Let us understand this with the help of a parable.

Five blind men were shown an elephant and asked what they “saw.”  The first blind man, standing in front of the elephant, carefully examined the trunk.  "It’s a large hosepipe," he reported.  The second blind man, standing at the back of the elephant, examined the tail and reported that it was a brush made up of long, wiry strands.  The third blind man, standing at the side of the elephant said that, without a doubt, what he was standing before was a large leather wall.  The fourth blind man, examining the elephant’s ear said that he believed he was standing before some sort of sailing vessel because of the large, durable sail he could feel.  The fifth blind man, standing at one of the elephant’s legs, was convinced he was standing next to a tree trunk.

When each heard the other report what the object before them was, each blind man argued from their own perspective and their own experience.  And argue they did.  They mocked the intelligence of, and insulted each other.  They called each other fools.  And when they heard each other’s arguments, they would reexamine their own perspectives to prove to themselves that they were right and the others were clearly mad.  After all, the evidence proved it.

The truth, plainly, cannot be revealed from a single perspective.  The failing of each blind man was not the quality of their own examinations.  It was not a problem of intelligence. The problem was that none of them changed where they stood.  None of them asked to trade spaces with another. None tried to understand the perspective of the others. Worse still, the more heated the debate, the more entrenched they became in their own perspective and the more they saw themselves as the voice of truth.

The saddest part of this little story is that none of them, not a single one, could actually see the truth of what stood plainly before them.  None could see the elephant. They were all completely blind.

It turns out having sight makes us no less blind.  We all only see the world from our own perspectives.  We all assess the “truth” based on our own experiences.  And when we argue, we don’t ask questions, we don’t listen, we don’t seek to understand the reason why someone would so vehemently disagree with us.  Instead we dismiss them as fools and press forward based on our perception.

Moral of the Story:

  1. Truth / reality / life is just a matter of perception.
  2. Our percetion defines what is right or wrong.
  3. What I know is true does not make what you know as false.
  4. In difficult situations, it’s not what happens to you but how you perceive it that determines how you will deal with it.

Use the comments below to tell us what you learn from this story & / or what you feel about this story

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