The Blind Men and Elephant Parable

Many years ago six blind men lived near each other in a village in India.

The other villagers supported and helped the old men their whole lives. The men would hear stories of the worlds wonders and could only imagine what it looked like.

What piqued the men’s interest most was what an elephant looked like. They were told elephants could trample forests, carry huge burdens, and frighten all people with loud trumpet calls.

The men began arguing all the time about elephants. 

“An elephant must be a powerful giant,” said one of the them.

“My brother you are mistaken,” said the second, “An elephant is graceful and gentle if princesses are able to ride on their backs.”

“Both of you are wrong,” the third man said, “I’ve heard elephants can pierce a man’s heart with its horn.”

“How blind you all are!” Proclaimed the fourth man. “An elephant is just like a large cow.”

“An elephant must be a magical being,” said the fifth man. “The Princess is able to travel safely throughout the kingdom on it.”

“You fools!” Declared the sixth man. “Elephants don’t exist at all. We are victims of a cruel joke.”

They quarreled and each had different ideas of what an elephant is. The other villagers grew tired of them arguing so they arranged a time for them to meet the Princesse’s elephant. They put their hands on each others backs and were led by a young village boy.

When they reached the palace they were greeted by an old village friend who now worked as a gardener at the palace. Their friend led them to the courtyard where an elephant stood. The blind men were led to the elephant, each touching it to find out what it is.

The first blind man to speak had reached out and touched the side of the elephant. “An elephant is smooth like a wall!”

The second put his hand out touching the elephant’s trunk. “An elephant is like a big snake.”

The third touched the elephant’s tusk. “I knew it!” He said. “This beast is sharp and smooth like a spear.”

The fourth reached out and touched the elephant’s legs. “This is simply a giant cow.”

The fifth touched the elephant’s ear. “An elephant is a large fan or a magic carpet that can fly.”

The sixth reached out and touched the elephant’s tail. “You all have lost your senses! Even a blind man can sense that this is nothing more than a piece of rope.”

After they each felt part of the elephant they began to argue again, until they were shouting at each other saying their description of the elephant was the truth.

“Stop shouting!” Yelled the angry Princess approaching them. “How can you all be so certain you’re right?”

The blind men knew the Princess to be very wise, so they said nothing at all.

“The elephant is a large animal,” she said kindly. “You each only touched one part. Maybe if you put the parts together you will see the truth. I must now finish my meditation,” she said before walking away.

“She is right,” one of the blind men said, “We must put all the parts together to truly learn the truth. Let’s discuss this on our way home.”

The boy led the men home, one man put his hand on the boy’s shoulder, then each blind man succeeded in putting their hand on the man in front of them, walking home together.

20 Stoic Related Quotes in Response to the Coronavirus

We’re all impacted by the coronavirus, even if we don’t have it ourselves. It is impacting the stock market, jobs, lives, everything related to our species.

We often can’t control what happens to us, the Buddha said that life is suffering, but we can choose how we respond to what happens to us.

Below are 20 Stoic related quotes, reminders to Stoic practitioners to focus on what’s in our control.

Stay safe. Stay clean. Spread love.

1) “When a situation is within your control, take action. When a situation is outside your control, make preparations.”
James Clear

2) “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.”
Epictetus

3) “Nothing external to you has any power over you.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

4) “Comfort makes you weaker. We need some variability, some stressors. Not too much, but just enough.”
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

5) “The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.”
Epictetus

6) “Your main target should be to find and develop your own unique individuality and not let your focus be sidetracked and drift to external things”
Sunday Adelaja

7) “Peace is more of an internal settlement rather than what is visible on the external.” 
Criss Jami

8) “When most people set out to change their lives, they often focus on all the external stuff, like a new job or a new location or new friends or a new romantic prospects and on and on. The reality is that changing your life starts with changing the way you see everything in your life.”
Mark Manson

9) “A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” 
Taoist proverb

10) “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.”
Yoda

11) “The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.”
Nikola Tesla

12) “Stoicism is not a matter of gritting your teeth. It’s about seeing things differently so that you do not need to grit your teeth.”
Richard Sorabji

13) “The pressure of adversity does not affect the mind of the brave man…It is more powerful than external circumstances.”
Seneca

14) “The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control emotions by the application of reason.” 
Marya Mannes

15) “The fools are preoccupied by things they can’t control. That’s why they are tense. The wise are indifferent to things they can’t control. That’s why they are calm.”
Maxime Lagacé

16) “I am inclined to think that the power of wisdom is better shown by a display of calmness in the midst of provocation.”
Seneca

17) “A man’s most urgent necessity is neither happiness or money. It is wisdom. For it is wisdom that he will need to navigate the turbulent waters of his day to day existence without succumbing to the ocean of turmoils or to the empty road of prescriptions.”
Kapil Gupta

18) “The wise win before they fight, while the ignorant fight to win.” 
Zhuge Liang

19) “Happiness is what people seek. Reality is what hits them. Disappointment is what they get. Detachment is what they need.” 
Maxime Lagacé

20) “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Steve Jobs

10 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

1— Figure out your why. Here’s a question to help you figure it out.

2—Read (book, article, anything).

3—Go into nature.

4—Call someone who genuinely listens to you.

5—Exercise. Even a few push ups or jumping jacks can help.

6—Watch an inspiring video. Here’s one on YouTube for writers

7—Write down all your current thoughts and feelings, including how you’re feeling about writer’s block.

8—What areas of your life have you improved in your life? Write about that.

9—What areas of your life, or the world, do you wish to improve? Write about that.

10 — Email me and I’ll send you a random word, write one page of whatever comes to your mind, beginning with that word. kthompson7814@gmail.com Subject: Writer’s Block Word

Joaquin Phoenix Oscars 2020 Award Speech Transcript

…But I think the greatest gift it’s given me and many of us in this room, is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about some of these distressing issues that we are facing collectively, and I think at times we feel or were made to feel that we champion different causes, but for me, I see commonality. 

I think whether we’re talking about gender equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animals rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice.

We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control, and use and exploit another with impunity.

I think that we’ve become very disconnected with the natural world, and many of us what were guilty of is an egocentric world view; the belief that we’re the center of the universe.

We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. 

We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable, and then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal, and I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up, but human beings at are best are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles we can create, develop, and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.

And I have been a scoundrel in my life. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and ungrateful, but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance, and I think that’s when we’re at our best, when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is best of humanity.

When he was 17 my brother wrote this lyric. He said “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow,” thank you.

Don’t look back for too long…

Or you’ll crash…

When you aren’t following your own vision and goals you are likely to follow someone else’s vision and goals.

What are your goals?

Remember and never forget that you are the driver of your life. You are empowered to do great things. Everyone makes mistakes. There’s pain in all our lives. Keep going though. You have something the world needs.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller

Read more related quotes and ideas here.

Love. Peace. Happiness.

Your Perspective IS Your Reality

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.” 
Wayne Dyer

We’re all living in the same world, but we all have unique perspectives. Our perspective isn’t the ultimate truth about reality, but it’s our truth about reality. 

We see reality through the lens of our individual perspective, which has been shaped and influenced by numerous external factors, but we can take control of our perspective.

A quick way to shift perspective is through gratitude.

Think about and write down all the things you are thankful for.

Begin with one or two, and then you’ll find your list growing. By dwelling in gratitude you can create more of a joyous life, creating a life of abundance, and one that you are in control of.

Love. Peace. Happiness.

5 Joseph Campbell Quotes to Live Fully

“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.”

^^ What makes you come alive?

The world needs more of this. I do. I think we all do when it’s experiences founded in love.

“The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure.”

“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.”

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.”

It is a privilege

I am deeply thankful to my parents for always encouraging and loving me for who I am. They have shaped my life tremendously 🙂


What are a few of your favorite experiences?

How will you make more time for them?

Thank you for reading.

Peace. Love. Happiness.

4 Ricky Gervais’s 2020 Golden Globes Insightful Moments

Funnyman Ricky Gervais kicked off the 2020 Golden Globes with a bang.

His real and raw opening monologue included a range of personal jokes as well as a range of insightful statements.

This post explains and brings light to 4 of Gervais’s insightful statements from his opening monologue.

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1 — “So, I mean, Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars for some offensive tweets, hello?”

—Main point = Racism. 

— Gervais has been hired 5 times to host the Golden Globes despite being consistently offensive. In the same Hollywood realm lies the Oscars where they fired Kevin Hart from hosting for having offensive tweets…Later in Gervais’s opening monologue he says “The Hollywood Foreign Press are all very very racist.”

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2 —  “Let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so, yea, remember that.”

—Main point = Laugh.

—Gervais understands the importance of jokes in a hypocritical world where we’re all going to die(Memento Mori). He knows to not take himself or others too seriously, because life is short. Gervais uses comedy to lighten the weight of the world, because it sure is heavy…

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3 — “Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama…A superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. So, well you say you’re woke but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?”

—Main point = Hypocrisy.

—Gervais sheds light on a cornerstone of capitalism and the hypocrisy of capitalistic companies actors are working for. He begins by calling out Apple for creating a TV drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, but that they run sweatshops in China…Which, yes, is complete hypocrisy. Then he relates this hypocrisy to actors who are working for these companies and that they would probably work with an ISIS streaming service if one was created. The message Gervais displays here goes even deeper, but let’s move on.

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4 — “So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”

Main point = Thoughtlessness.

—Gervais brings to completion one of his main messages: There are awful things in this world we are all oblivious to, or we choose to be oblivious to, and only a few that are made public and worked upon.

He wants us all to wake up and be honest about the reality of the world and our part in it. That actors who are working for capitalistic companies with sweatshops are playing a role in maintaining those sweatshops. That the winners of the evening are likely to make a political speech, but that political speeches are narrow, biased, and leave out billions of other problems in the world.

Yes, there are issues needing resolution and there always will be, but Gervais encourages people to really think, to see the world objectively(What’s normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly), and rather than make a political speech one time about making the world better, act in your day to day life toward making the world a little less worse. 

Gervais hopes we all recognize the chaos of this world and still laugh, have fun, and enjoy it while it lasts. To work toward a better world but to not take it all too seriously.

How did you interpret Gervais’s speech?

Actions>Thoughts

“Your thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.”
Dan Millman

Don’t believe everything you think; I have heard this phrase many times & it relates to this idea.

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We can’t always control what we think, but we do have control of our actions.

Yes, try to think positive & focus on the best, but don’t try to force thoughts away. Embrace them; let it come & then let them go like clouds passing by…

Quotes from Dan Millman below.

“You don’t need to control emotion,” Socrates said. “Emotions are natural, like passing weather. Sometimes it’s fear, sometimes sorrow or anger. Emotions are not the problem. The key is to transform the energy of emotion into constructive action.”

“Old urges continue to arise, but urges do not matter; only actions do. A warrior is as a warrior does.”

“. . Action always happens in the present, because it is an expression of the body, which can only exist in the here and now. But the mind is like a phantom that lives only in the past or future. It’s only power over you is to draw your attention out of the present.”

Paying attention is also an action, and one of the most important actions:

“A Zen student asked his roshi the most important element of Zen.  The roshi replied, ‘Attention.’ 
‘Yes, thank you,’ the student replied. ‘But can you tell me the second most important element?’ And the roshi replied, ‘Attention.’”

Practice paying attention.

“Ultimately you will learn to meditate your every action.”

“Use whatever knowledge you have but see its limitations. Knowledge alone does not suffice; it has no heart. No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit; it can never bring you ultimate happiness or peace. Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy. Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive.” 

“Full attention to every moment is my desire and my pleasure. Attention costs no money; your only investment is training.”

The POWER of Belief

Was there a time when you believed in something so deeply you knew it to be true with all your heart and soul?

Maybe it was around Christmas time, a Holiday, or your first love?

Or maybe it was sitting in a chair you knew wouldn’t break?

Some things are easier to believe in than others, like trusting the chair you’re sitting in won’t break, but what if you could apply that same trust into areas of your life?

Here is one technique that has helped people such as Tony Robbins and many others acquire success:

Ask yourself, “If I had to believe my goals and dreams were possible to attain, how could I believe it?”

As you continue to ask yourself this question, and related questions to help grow your belief, your belief can grow. Here are 2 more questions to ask yourself:

“What would make me believe my goals and dreams are possible?”

And:

“What action can I take today to get closer to my goals and dreams?”

As much as we can think about our goals and dreams, actions are still needed, but it does begin with the mind by asking ourself questions.

Here are a couple quotes from famous people on this:

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” 
― Albert Einstein

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit.”
― Laozi

I’ve asked myself these questions, as well as others, and it has led me to some pretty awesome things, like interning with Ryan Holiday, which started as an idea in my mind.

Here is the full story of how it came to be.

Belief is a difficult thing, but we can strengthen our beliefs by consistently programming our brains with quality questions. In time, we will see progress within ourselves, as well as on the outside.