There once was a small village in India where all the residents, due to a rare illness, were blind.
One day, six of the village's residents went on a walk and met, on their way, a man riding an elephant. These people have heard much of elephants, but have never been close to one of the hulking beasts. They were curious, and asked the rider to allow them to touch the animal, so they can return to the village and explain to the rest of the blind what the elephant 'looks' like.
The rider agreed, and so, each of the six blind men approached the elephant, each selecting a diffrent spot to touch, so they can understand what it's like.
An hour later, they arrive at the village center and call for everyone to join them, excitedly telling them about the elephant.
"So what is an elephant like?" Asked the curious blind villagers.
The first man, who touched the elephant's chest said: "The elephant is built like a huge, sturdy wall!"
"Nonsense!" Cried the second man, who touched the elephant's tusk, "The elephant is short and stubby and smooth to the touch, with one sharp end! More like a short spear than a wall."
The third man, who touched the elephant's ear, was very surprised at this and said: "But these are all wrong, the elephant, after all, is like a giant leaf made of thick wool which bends in the wind."
"Untrue!" screamed the fourth man, who put his hand on the elephant's trunk. "I'll tell you what the elephant is like - a giant snake!"
"no no no!" seethed the fifth man, who touched one of the elephant's legs, "wasn't it clear to you that the elephant was like a short stump, round and thick?"
"None of you got it right," said the sixth man, who rode the elephant's back for a short while. "The elephant is like a flat, moving mountain!"
The villagers were very confused at this, and legend tells us that till this day, no one in the village knows what an actual elephant looks like.
And so is often the case when people argue - they each have only a small part of the picture, but insist that only they can see it in full. Sometimes it takes the combination of all opinions to lead us to the truth. All you have to do is listen for it...
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