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Perspective Taking

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Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the importance of being willing to honor and hear other people's perspectives. So there's actually a really well known story about this. A group of five blind men heard that a strange animal called an elephant had been brought to their town. So they were really curious about this and went to seek it out.

And when they found the creature, each of the blind men started to touch it to find out what it was. The first man whose hand landed on the elephant's trunk said this creature is like a thick snake. The second man who was touching the animal's ear said, no, it's not. It's like a fan. The third man had his hands on the animal's side and said an elephant is clearly like a wall.

The fourth man who had his hand on the legs said, no, no, no, the elephant's like a tree trunk. And the fifth man who was feeling its tail described the creature as a rope. And as each man insisted that his perspective was the right one they began to argue and things got more heated. They came to blows. And each man eventually ended up walking away, feeling angry, insulted, and with only a limited perspective of the whole story.

So a lot of the time, like the blind men, we have an experience and then we make up our interpretations and judgments about it. And we can very quickly believe that our perspective is the right one and the whole truth. One example of this is, we often do this with people don't we, we make up our minds about them from a limited amount of experience. So it's important to remember that our own perspective does have limitations and other people's might differ from ours. And both sides might be both correct and incorrect, just like the blind men feeling different parts of the elephant.

In order to get closer to the whole truth or the full picture in any given situation, it really requires us to let go of needing to be right and being open to take in all the other perspectives and views too. So as you go through life, try to stay curious and open to perspectives that are different from yours. And if you do that, you might open to whole new worlds of understanding and connection. So as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Perspective Taking

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the importance of being willing to honor and hear other people's perspectives. So there's actually a really well known story about this. A group of five blind men heard that a strange animal called an elephant had been brought to their town. So they were really curious about this and went to seek it out.

And when they found the creature, each of the blind men started to touch it to find out what it was. The first man whose hand landed on the elephant's trunk said this creature is like a thick snake. The second man who was touching the animal's ear said, no, it's not. It's like a fan. The third man had his hands on the animal's side and said an elephant is clearly like a wall.

The fourth man who had his hand on the legs said, no, no, no, the elephant's like a tree trunk. And the fifth man who was feeling its tail described the creature as a rope. And as each man insisted that his perspective was the right one they began to argue and things got more heated. They came to blows. And each man eventually ended up walking away, feeling angry, insulted, and with only a limited perspective of the whole story.

So a lot of the time, like the blind men, we have an experience and then we make up our interpretations and judgments about it. And we can very quickly believe that our perspective is the right one and the whole truth. One example of this is, we often do this with people don't we, we make up our minds about them from a limited amount of experience. So it's important to remember that our own perspective does have limitations and other people's might differ from ours. And both sides might be both correct and incorrect, just like the blind men feeling different parts of the elephant.

In order to get closer to the whole truth or the full picture in any given situation, it really requires us to let go of needing to be right and being open to take in all the other perspectives and views too. So as you go through life, try to stay curious and open to perspectives that are different from yours. And if you do that, you might open to whole new worlds of understanding and connection. So as always thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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