The following is a blog from the winner of my first contest for Humoring the Goddess. Although she prefers to stay anonymous, her words ring true in minds and hearts everywhere. It takes a lot to put your words and thoughts out there for even one person to read. I encourage you all to follow her lead. Enjoy!! And please share your thoughts. The universe has no limits.
A story in the Jain culture (Jainism is a religion in India) tells the tale of an elephant and six blind men. None of the men knew what an elephant was so they went to the village to feel and touch the elephant. The first man touched the leg and decided an elephant was like a pillar. The second man touched the tail and decided an elephant was like a rope. The third man touched the trunk and decided an elephant was like a branch. The fourth man touched the ear and decided an elephant was like a hand fan. The fifth man touched the belly and decided an elephant was like a wall. The sixth man touched the tusk and decided an elephant was like a pipe. They all believed that they were right. They argued. The ever-present wise man that always seems to be walking by at the most convenient moment explained to the men that they were all right.
The story is about perspective. By definition (mathematics and graphics aside), perspective means “the facts known to one.” The Jain religion teaches that the truth can be stated in seven different ways. It teaches tolerance toward other people’s viewpoints. And why would anyone not want to try to be tolerant?
Just because you don’t agree with someone, doesn’t make either of you right or wrong. You’re just different. That can be hard for some people, including me. I get frustrated when people don’t see things the way I do. It’s not the fact that they disagree with me that gets me upset, it’s the fact that they will not even consider my point of view. I’m not trying to change their minds; I just want them to take a look at things from a different perspective. I think it’s important to view different perspectives because it may explain why people act the way they do. In general, I do not think people intentionally say or do things that they believe are wrong. I would like to believe that people aren’t bad or mean or evil. Maybe that creep that cut you off in traffic was having a bad day. Haven’t you ever accidentally cut someone off in traffic?
Everyone thinks they are right, according to the information that they have. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try, and keep trying, to step outside of our minds and look at things from another point of view. Other people could be “right” too! Don’t disregard what others have to say. Not only will it help you in your interactions with other people, it will also help you deal with you. Sometimes it is helpful to look at your own life from a different point of view than what you are used to. “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” (Albert Einstein)
But of course, this is all just my perspective.