I remember a story about people trying to describe an elephant to a blind man. They were all standing in a circle and the elephant was in the middle. Each one described the elephant from their place in the circle. For example, if you were standing facing the elephant’s head, you might describe the elephant as a gray triangle with a snake (his trunk) in the middle of it. I’m probably not doing a very good job re-telling the story but I think that most are familiar with it. Anyway, the point of the story is that people see things from their own particular perspective depending on who they are and where they are in the circle (of life).
I think that it is important to remember that everything that we see, judge, comment on, and think about, is peppered by our own perspective. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it may just be a ‘limiting’ thing. The old adage ‘Walk a mile in my shoes’ contains much wisdom. I’m not sure that we can ever truly remove ‘ourselves’ when assessing a situation. Can we ever be really objective? Do we need to be?
I think that as long as we are aware that we bring with us baggage, both good and bad, than it’s ok that we see through our own lens. Perhaps, it can even be better because then we can offer understanding, compassion and love. I know that if I am seeing my limited part of the elephant, than what I am getting from you is your limited part of the elephant. Together we can perfectly describe the entire elephant.
Each day we have opportunities to offer opinions and judgments and to listen to those of others. Each day we can choose ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ or, perhaps there is truth in what we both feel. Each day we can be grateful for our own ideas and the ideas of those around us, even if we don’t agree with them. Each day we can remember that we may have only walked a few yards in our shoes….others have walked that mile.