December 2020. WOW, What a Year!

No one in their wildest dreams could have imagined, this time last year, that we would have had the year we have had.

I won’t even begin to try and sum it up because each of us has had a unique experience of this universal event dependent on not only our circumstances but our Perceptions, Perspectives and Personal Beliefs.

Have you ever laid on the grass and looked at the clouds?  And imagined you’ve seen shapes and patterns that you recognise as people or animals, mountains or countries, knowing all the time you were looking at clouds?  Or been taken in by one of those mind-bending images where you think you’re looking at a beautiful lady one minute and an old crone the next!?

Sometimes it’s difficult to really know the truth so we fill in the gaps and make a meaning of what’s in front of us.

India is a fascinating country, deep wisdom, and more stories than you can imagine.

One of my favourites is about 5 blind men who come across an elephant as they walked in the hot sun to the market to buy food.

“What is this?” the first man asked as he came up to the side of the elephant. “This is an elephant” said the mahout, who was sitting astride the elephant’s neck.

“Mmmm, I’ve always wondered what elephants are like” said the man as he ran his hands along the side of the elephant reaching up as high as he could and as far down the elephant’s side as he could reach.

“It’s like a huge, rough, warm wall” he said in surprise. “An elephant is like a wall!”

“What do you mean by a wall?” said the second man as he wrapped his arms around the elephant’s leg,

“It’s nothing like a wall! It’is like a pillar” he said as he reached around the leg of the elephant, “Yes! that’s it, an elephant is like a pillar” he exclaimed.

“A pillar?”  laughed the third man as his hands ran over the elephant’s trunk. “This isn’t a pillar – it’s flexible for a start and way too thin and it moves like a snake! No no, elephants are like snakes!”

“A hairy snake! Well I’ve never heard of a hairy snake” said the fourth man pulling on the elephant’s tail. “Elephants aren’t like snakes, there are like ropes” he insisted.

The fifth man couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Are you all crazy?” he said, waving the elephant’s ear back and forth. “It’s large like a wall alright but it’s as flexible as the finest silk – only an idiot could mistake an elephant for anything except the sail of a boat!”

As the elephant and his mahout continued on their journey down the road, the men argued about the nature of the elephant, each man was sure that he alone was right and that it was the others who were wrong!

And the truth of the matter?  An elephant is an elephant!

But, only when we can see the whole picture and perspectives and perceptions of everyone can we really know the truth.

So in the spirit of love and the wisdom of the ages, let’s take a little time to understand our fellow humans. Take a step to the side to try and understand why people are making the decisions they are making. Offer a helping hand to those who are struggling and most of all be kind to yourself, because…

What is terrifying you today may not be a snake! It may be the tail of an elephant.


Fiona Ross, December 2020

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