The Light of Humility

Studies have shown that most eyewitnesses of an event believe they have observed all that occurred. And yet, the same studies reveal, not one witness can ever accurately recount the entire event.

Until we turn on the light of humility, we’ll all remain in the dark.

In that light, here’s my take on the old tale of

The Blind Men and the Elephant


Five men were led to an elephant

A beast they could never actually know

For nature had failed to give them eyes

To them all was darkness, above and below


And yet you may feel with your hands, they were told

So touch this creature and say what is true

“It’s as thick and as strong as a banyan root”

Said the first with absolute certitude


“You lie! It’s as thin as sisal twine”

Said the next as he felt the great animal’s tail

“Deceit!” cried the man who was touching its ears

“It’s as wide and as lithe as a Bengal boat’s sail”


“Cease your gibbering jokes!” said the fourth

“It’s as hard and firm as a plastered fence”

“Not so!” cried the fifth as he fondled its trunk

“It writhes like a cobra. You lack all sense!”


But then the one who had led them there

Said, “Behold, each sightless man is right”

“You lie!” averred a sighted observer

“Each is wrong!” Then he raised his fists to fight


“Wait!” cried a formerly silent onlooker

“It’s true that each of the men spoke truth

But only in part, and there’s the fault

For a partial truth has no earthly use


“And in the end no person alone

Can ever be fully, finally free

So let us not fancy our vision complete

Until all together we learn to see”


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Culture, Humor, Story Power and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Light of Humility

  1. roninjax says:

    Fantastic insight and analogy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. smzang says:

    Perfect timing for this one… It would seem that my two sisters and I grew up on three different planets. Few of our memories correlate at all. Sometimes that causes tensions. This year your article will be the aha moment that keeps tensions out and to paraphrase Leonard Cohen, it will be ‘the crack that lets the light in’. You have a really super way of teaching. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful take on this tale! Must share…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anitashope says:

    Great analogy. I have never heard this, thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such is the World when we refuse to open our eyes. Great post Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ann Coleman says:

    I have always loved that story! It explains why good people hold so tightly to such very different truths. We really do experience the world in different ways, and the way we experience it defines our world view. I think the hardest part about getting along with others is recognizing that fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. clillquist says:

    This is awesome Mitch!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic analogy. Very well explained. Do find time to read mine on the same topic here

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: 50 Years Ago Today (or was it?) | Mitch Teemley

  10. Minister Mike says:

    Great post. Analogy in teaching of oneself. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Tips for Writers: Always Tell the Truth, Even When You’re Lying | Mitch Teemley

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