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The Truthful Elephant - Grasshopper

The ancient parable of the Blind Men And The Elephant metaphorically explains the absurdity and off-putting of the expression “My Truth.”

Here’s a synopsis of the story as listed on Wikipedia:

 

The parable of the blind men and an elephant originated in the ancient Indian subcontinent, from where it has been widely diffused. It is a story of a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before and who learn and conceptualize what the elephant is like by touching it. Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant's body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is dishonest and they come to blows. The moral of the parable is that humans have a tendency to claim absolute truth based on their limited, subjective experience as they ignore other people's limited, subjective experiences, which may be equally true.

 

In the spirit of the whole truth, “your truth” is an isolated opinion. Your truth can be anything between an ivory tusk and elephant dung, yet you may attempt to represent it as the whole pachyderm.

 

The expression “my truth” is not only inaccurate but your use of it paints you as a blindfolded partisan closed off to others’ puzzle pieces that lead to a more complete picture.

 

Do you have the “one true religion”? How many wars have been fought over that “truth”?

 

I’ve ridden an elephant. I can tell you, first hand, that sitting on a tuft of elephant hair is like sitting on a wire brush. My experience, though indelible to me, disappears to others like invisible ink if I try and pass it off as “everything but the kitchen sink.”

 

If you want to keep keeping people at arms length, keep telling them “your truth,” and like an elephant they’ll never forget to forget about you.

 

All the best,

John

Listen to hear the recorded version here.



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