By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
The Scoop - Three blind men provide a lesson
James 2.jpg

We all have our personal views when it comes to this virus that's crippling our nation and there's no reason to expound on my beliefs.

Who really cares?

What I do find fascinating is how public opinion about coronavirus can really vary, to the point where people are ranting in all caps on Facebook. It reminds me of the old fable of the three blind men and the elephant, which I try to remember any time I'm struggling to understand someone's point of view.

As legend has it, three blind men were curious to learn about this thing called an elephant. The way people in their village talked, it was one great beast.

The three blind men were eventually given a chance to touch an elephant for themselves since this would be their best way of gaining some type of understanding.

The first blind man grabbed the elephant's trunk and was amazed at its muscularity and length. He described the elephant as being a massive snake.

The second blind man approached the side of the elephant and touched its body. He was shocked at the sheer mass, describing the elephant as a giant wall.

The third blind man reached for the elephant and grabbed it by the tusk. He described the elephant as being extremely smooth and shaped almost like a spear.

The blind men began discussing their experience with the elephant and this discussion soon turned to an argument. All the men were in fierce disagreement about what type of creature this elephant really was because they had all experienced it from a different perspective.

But because the blind men had only their limited point of view to base their opinion on, they were unwilling to bend and accept any other ideas. Their views were rigid.

The story of the blind men certainly describes our society today, in dealing with coronavirus and so many issues. 

The rich expect huge tax breaks so they don't have to pay the government their fair share, then blast people who are low-income for having to rely on government assistance. It all depends which lens you look through as to who is getting the better deal -- the family of four that gets $100 in food stamps, or the wealthy family that gets $100,000 in tax breaks.

If coronavirus has shown us anything, it's that people only hear what they want to hear. If someone wants to hear COVID poses no real threat to humanity and is an overblown hoax, I guarantee you that's what they'll hear.

As Harper Lee proposed in "To Kill A Mockingbird," sometimes it's helpful to stand on someone else's front porch and see how they view the world.

The three blind men show us that someone else's perspective may not be wrong, provided we're willing to listen.

Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.