When I put on my glasses, I see the world differently. Suddenly, it is clearer, I can see further, and generally take in more information about my surroundings. So, to, when I am exposed to a different perspective.

This is highlighted by the Indian parable of the six blind men and an elephant. As the story goes, six blind men set out to “see” what an elephant was like. The first man touched the elephant’s side and thought it to be like a great wall. The second felt the tusks and thought elephants must be like spears. Feeling the trunk, the third man thought it was a type of snake. Feeling a limb, the fourth man thought it was like a tree trunk. The fifth, examining an ear, thought it was like a fan. The sixth, touching the tail, thought it was like a rope.

Individually, each man “saw” what he believed to be an elephant. Of course, the information they each had was true, but was only partial. Only through communicating what they each “saw”, could they solve the puzzle and form a picture which was more complete.

So it is with perspective. By considering different perspectives, one can gain a greater appreciation of the situation. That way, any solution will be informed by a better understanding of the problem.


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