Disagreements don’t have to be warfare

It’s the week of the RNC, so let’s talk elephants (but not politics.)

The elephant is a majestic creature. They’ve been around awhile and have been domesticated in some ways to be used in industry, entertainment, warfare and more. Did you know that it is females that are mostly trained because male elephants don’t really work well with humans? Except in warfare, girl elephants run from boy elephants – so not the best warriors.

I’ve stood in awe at elephants. I’ve seen them at a variety of zoos and such. Watched the Discovery channel. I’ve even read/seen Dumbo and Horton Hears a Who. Classics.

But today, my mind drifts to that piece of folklore of several blind men discovering an elephant for the first time. Each one explores a different part of the creature and comes to totally different conclusions. One author (Greg Koukl) summarizes the results as such …

  1. The first blind man put out his hand and touched the side of the elephant. “How smooth! An elephant is like a wall.”
  2. The second blind man put out his hand and touched the trunk of the elephant. “How round! An elephant is like a snake.”
  3. The third blind man put out his hand and touched the tusk of the elephant. “How sharp! An elephant is like a spear.”
  4. The fourth blind man put out his hand and touched the leg of the elephant. “How tall! An elephant is like a tree.”
  5. The fifth blind man reached out his hand and touched the ear of the elephant. “How wide! An elephant is like a fan.”
  6. The sixth blind man put out his hand and touched the tail of the elephant. “How thin! An elephant is like a rope.”

An argument ensued. Each posted on Facebook calling the other liars and spreaders off fake news. The lines were drawn in the sand and not one of the six even listened, much less tried to understand, the others. A few took to the street to protest. Others hid in their homes and just fumed. One applied for a concealed weapon permit to protect himself from the others. One made a book deal and went on news media to share his story and why others are more than just blind, they are ignorant. One even said to think otherwise is the way Hitler made people think.

Okay. Maybe that’s not the original legend, and maybe I slid into a little politics. But it is amazing that in reading about the DNC and the RNC, and watching some snippets from both, people can watch the exact same thing and come to opposite points of view.

Is he mad at the driver? Did the driver try to hit the elephant? Or maybe the beast just needed to scratch an itch on his belly and the car was the only thing that would reach that hard to reach spot?

I know this is nothing new, it’s been around like this for … well since man has been here.

But it’s hard to watch. And even harder to live through all this. I don’t have quick fixes or fortune cookie statements that draws all men together. But I do have a challenge from scripture for each of us. Basically – put others before yourself.

Put others first!

What would this world be like if we practiced that – or at least tried to practice that? I’m not talking about being a door mat or allowing others to take advantage of you – but just living humbly, polite, and realizing we are not the center of the universe.

What a beautiful world this would be.

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