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Seeing the world through different eyes

I wonder how many of us over this last year have felt angry and upset about how other people seem to be seeing and experiencing life in a very different way to ourselves?

The media seems to be full of very different perspectives on situations and the ways forward. As individuals we often feel that our way of seeing things is the right one and our frustration arises when our strong viewpoint is not shared by our family, friends or others in society.

“How can they just not see it?” we often ask ourselves.

It’s not just situations that create different viewpoints.

So often we see other people through a certain lens of where they live, how they earn their living, their age, their sex or their ethnicity. These perspectives can give us a very narrow viewpoint and don’t show us the whole picture.

The words in this parable beautifully describe how our perspectives can differ and that we may all be right in our own way but equally that there is always another way to see a situation.

“Once upon a time there were six blind men. They lived in a town in India. They thought they were very clever. One day an elephant came into the town. The blind men did not know what an elephant looked like but they could smell it and they could hear it. 'What is this animal like?' they said. Each man touched a different part of the elephant.

The first man touched the elephant's body. It felt hard, big and wide. 'An elephant is like a wall,' he said.

The second man touched one of the elephant's tusks. It felt smooth and hard and sharp. 'An elephant is like a spear,' he said.

The third man touched the elephant's trunk. It felt long and thin and wiggly. 'An elephant is like a snake,' he said.

The fourth man touched one of the legs. It felt thick and rough and hard and round. 'An elephant is like a tree,' he said.

The fifth man touched one of the elephant's ears. It felt thin and it moved. 'An elephant is like a fan,' he said.

The sixth man touched the elephant's tail. It felt long and thin and strong. 'An elephant is like a rope,' he said.

The men argued. It's like a wall! No, it isn't! It's like a spear! No it isn't! It's like a snake! They did not agree. The king had been watching and listening to the men. 'You are not very clever. You only touched part of the elephant. You did not feel the whole animal. An elephant is not like a wall or a spear or a snake, or a tree or a fan or a rope.'

The men left the town still arguing.”

As we can see from this parable there are many different ways to see a situation or an individual. Our own perspective has limits. For our own wellbeing and for the benefit of our relationships with those around us it’s important that we work to consider as many different perspectives as we can.

So the next time you find yourself in a disagreement consider the possibility that both sides tell a part of the truth. Try to be open to views, ideas and perspectives outside of your experience. If we step back and try to see a bigger picture it can be beneficial for ourselves and our relationships.

If you would like greater support in developing positive and healthy relationships then please get in touch. I have a number of programmes that could help you towards the life you want and deserve.

Details of my programmes are on the wellbeing page of my website:

Alternatively email


07858 463935

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