Monday, December 3, 2012

From Where I'm Standing

We don't have a clear view of the sunset from our front porch. At this time of the year, as the wind has carried away the summer's leaves from the shelterbelt across the road, our sunset sky is punctuated with branches in silhouette. In the summertime, we can barely see a glimpse of the western, sunset sky if we don't change positions and walk down the road.

Our outlook is colored by where we're standing, isn't it? It's tinged by what's standing in our way. It's colored by the journey we've taken during our lifetimes. The hue is different, depending upon whether it's been a day of blessings or a day of struggle. Even those of us who share a common thread of family or community see situations differently because each of us - and our journeys - are as unique as our fingerprints.

It made me think of the parable I heard as a child:
Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today." 

They had no idea what an elephant was. They decided, "Even though we will not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." All of them went where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.
Photo from
"The elephant is a pillar," said the first man who touched his leg. 

"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail. 

"Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant. 

"It is like a big hand fan," said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant. 

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant. 

"It is like a solid pipe," said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant. 

They began to argue about the elephant, and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by, and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, "What is the matter?" They said, "We cannot agree to what the elephant is like." Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like.

The wise man calmly explained to them, "All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features you said."

"Oh!" everyone said. There was no more fighting.
The sunset itself doesn't change if I look at it from another vantage point. But my perspective does. There's probably a life lesson there ...


  1. Very insightful, Kim. Your point today is so true. I keep thinking about all the little eye openers I have had in the last few weeks. There are many things that make more sense to me now that I am living and doing on the ranch everyday. I am amazed at how much I am learning.

    1. It's always great to hear from you, Robyn! Hope things are going well for you!