It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined, who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind), that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall, against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl: "God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!"
The second feeling of the tusk, cried: "Ho! what have we here, so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear, this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!"
The third approached the animal, and, happening to take, the squirming trunk within his hands, thus boldly up he spake the elephant is very like a snake!"
The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee: "What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain," quoth he; "Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree."
The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; "E'en the blindest man can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can, This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!"
The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope, than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope, "I see," quothe he, "the elephant is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long, each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong, Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!
So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween, tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean, and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!
John Godfrey Saxe
Although Saxe died in 1887, his words still ring true today. So many blind people in this world, each of us partly in the right and all of us in the wrong. Not one of us has the whole picture, yet we each have our opinions, exceeding stiff and strong.
Tim bought an old gas light that had been converted to electric. We ripped it apart and began to clean it. Tim kept saying, "This is copper." Looking at the framework that I was polishing, I kept telling him firmly, "You are wrong. It is brass."
The debate went on as we cleaned away years of tarnish. Finally, in the end, both of us stared at the work of the other. He held a copper decroative piece that went at the top of the light. I held my brass frame work.
Each of us was partly in the right. We both were in the wrong!