It was so big I couldn’t see it

Our family went to see the Toronto Blue Jays play this summer. To avoid downtown parking and traffic, we left our car in the suburbs and took the GO train to Union Station. We walked along Front Street, enjoyed fresh tortillas from the Lone Star Texas Grill (love those fresh tortillas), then headed to the Rogers Centre. As we approached the stadium, which stands right next to the base of the CN Tower, my husband said, “There`s the CN Tower.”

My son looked all around. We were standing so close to the base of the tower, all he could see was a large cement wall. “Where?” he said.

My husband pointed to the sky. “There,” he said. “Look up.”

“Oh.” My son looked sheepish. “It was so big I couldn`t see it,” he said.

It reminded me of the Indian fable by John Godfrey Saxe, Six Blind Men and the Elephant. In this fable, six blind men come upon an elephant. Each one in turn touches a different small part of the very big animal, and draws an incomplete conclusion. The first man touches the broad side of the animal and says that an elephant is like a wall. The second touches the tusk and says an elephant is like a spear. The trunk feels like a snake, the knee like a tree, the ear like a fan, and the tail like a rope. The moral of the story is this: any one of us can only see a part of a very big animal, so we should not draw incomplete conclusions.

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

Sometimes things are so big, we just can`t see them.


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on September 13, 2011, in good faith, Inspiration, metaphor, story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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