Link to What's New ThisWeek Metaphor of the Blind Men and the Elephant

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Created: November 11, 2001
Latest Update: September 3, 2003

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Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, September 2003.
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Julie and Brenda have put the story of the Blind Men and the Elephant into the context of their own experiences. Notice that Julie and Brenda are basically saying the same thing. We tend to see what we want to see, what we are "looking for." And we tend to make that judgment swiftly, often on partial evidence. Notice the added strength that Brenda's argument gains from using specific examples. Look also at Julie's earlier Comments on Rigney's metaphors for society, in which she also gives specific examples.

On November 27, Julie Kim wrote:

Hello Jeanne,

In response to the fable "The blind men and the elephant": Like what you mentioned in the lecture, "We see what we WANT to see". or what we are expected to see. When the poet said the "blind men of Indostan" , I think he was referring to people in general. When it comes to things, we are all blind to some degree. Instead of opening up our minds and not being biased, we just "see" what we want to see. Society, I think, made us this way. We don't want to be "Labeled" as "different" from what we think is the "norm," so we program ourselves to see things in a way that is acceptable to everyone. We don't open ourselves up to what others have to say.. and if those 6 men, instead of jumping to conclusions, had worked as a team to find out what they "thought" they "saw," they might have come up with a better conclusion.


On Tuesday, November 20, 2001, Brenda Narvaez wrote:

Subject: The blind Men and the elephant

after i saw this page it made me realize how true it was. when we talked about in class it all made so much clear sense. we all see what we want, we all believe what we want. take me for instance. i want to work with troubled youth. everyone asks "why" or "are you crazy". i want to work for the California Youth Authorities as a correctional counsler. i believe that if indivduals are given the oppurtunity to overcome the obstacles that are presented to them, they will do it. i don't believe in giving up on them just because of their mistakes. in fact, that makes me want to help them even more. people that i have spoken to ask why do i want to waste my time, that they will never change. well i simply tell them that i don't see it that way.

i guess we all have our preceptions of how things are. all these blind men saw the elephant as something else depending on what part of the body they were touching. It is amazing how you can have so many preceptions of the same thing.