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.

2 Acting Strategies to Improve Work & Life


Acting strategies can be used as tools to improve your work environment as well as your life.

If these strategies have enlightened Jim Carrey, in which you can read about below, they might be able to do the same for you. Give them a try and use what works for you!

coacht.blog Jim Carrey

Acting Strategies To Try At Work

1) Act “As If” 

The HuffPost has a good article on Acting “As If”. Click here to read it. The article looks at both sides of this exercise and discusses its benefits. Here is an encapsulating quote from the article:

“When we choose to live with a strong faith in things not seen, not proven, and not guaranteed – we tap into the power of the possible and we supersede the literal and predicable.”

 

Another good quote from article:

 

The question for us to ask ourselves is, ‘What am I acting as if will happen in the most important areas of my life right now?’”

 


So what do you want to act “as if”? 

Think about specific qualities you admire and/or think about one of your role models or a leader in your industry. What would they do in this situation?

Then try it out! Don’t give up after 3 minutes, take time to really dwell in an “as if” situation.

This leads to something similar…

 

2) Create, then don’t leave your “Stage”

This is another type of method acting.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Shakespeare

gettyimages-51241288-56fdbf0f5f9b586195e1001c

Every day people are waking up and playing a role; some do it intentionally and some don’t.


The following strategy can be used in any occupation:

Let’s say that you are a pharmacist. In this exercise this is also your “acting role”. Try going into your job pretending that you are an actor, acting as a pharmacist. View everyone you see as fellow actors, acting out their roles! 

^This idea can be a trip but I love it.

Related to this strategy is the article about Jim Carrey when he used Method Acting in portraying Andy Kaufman. Check it out here.

la-1510974727-g9efkfahig-snap-image-e1542481942187

Seeing others as fellow actors can help you understand that each “actor” has a role, they have tasks, they are focused on an end goal. This can help you understand peoples’ wants:

“One of the most important keys to acting is that every single person at every single moment of their life has an objective (a want) as well as an action to get what they want. In acting, if you can identify what your character wants at any given time, then you will add a vital element of truth and direction in your work. The same applies to life.”
Dominic Zhai

 
Knowing that each “actor” has an objective can help you react less and respond more. Reactions are quick and usually without thought whereas Responses are calm and calculated. Reactions are emotional and typically ego-based. Responses are reasonable.


“When egos act defensively (e.g. when we insist that the other person is “wrong”), our judgement becomes clouded. When we focus too much on defending ourselves, we become blocked in our own self-development.”
Dominic Zhai

d7qemzv-f179b655-089a-46f7-8ce9-8a2a54a7de27

One of the best qualities an actor can have is active listening. Active listening lets go of the ego to completely engage and focus on the present moment, open to all possibilities(trusting improv), which is where real Joy is experienced, and isn’t that what it’s about?

Joy is contagious. Try the first method to Act “As If” joyful wherever you are and observe the people in your surroundings become more joyful too!

“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.”
Carlos Santana

 

Actions become habits if repeated long enough, but remember that progress is the goal, not perfection. Every day won’t shine as you’d like but you can work on shining every day.

“Joy is increased by spreading it to others.” 
Robert Murray McCheyne

 

“Let your joy be in your journey—not in some distant goal.” 
Tim Cook

 

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”
Kahlil Gibran

 

LPCspGa

 

 

Space is NOT the Final Frontier

As Columbus discovered new land so we too are seeking new land…beyond Earth.

Columbus is just the face of discovering new land—There were many others who ventured out in search of different environments.

(And please don’t bring any flags that only cause division and chaos.)

So what will happen if we do discover livable land for humans outside the Earth?

Will we be able to cooperate with possible alien life?
Or will we act as humans in the past, in fear, and try to take over their colony?

This is why we need to change what is within us before seeking new land.

Right now and throughout the past we observe separation & struggle in this chaos we call life. This will only continue if we don’t change what is within.

Miscommunications and misunderstandings divide us.

As we seek new land in space, it’s important to remember that quality of life is foremost, and we can only achieve that by working together, helping each other, and through cooperative education.

Imagine hundreds of years from now…Humans discussing the past, discussing the time and place we are currently in.

Will they talk of the chaos and separation?
Will they talk of how we changed & came together?
Both?

The frontier that needs to first be sought out is ourselves.

We must first change what is within us to change what is outside of us.

You are writing history with your life. 

How shall it be?

“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”
Henry David Thoreau

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
T.S. Eliot