The Tale of the 5 Blind Men

October 15, 2013

The Tale of the 5 Blind Men

Grab a pillow kids, it’s story time! I read a really interesting article on Fast Company today about creativity and innovation. The morale of the story was that we need ‘to have people around us that have their hands on other parts of the elephant’. And the story is as follows:

“Hundreds and hundreds of years ago in India, there was a village that had five wise men. The townspeople would come to them with their problems: who to marry, when to harvest, how to prepare for the winter. The thing is, these were old men, and the state of ocular medicine wasn’t great, so it ended up that each of them was blind.

This wasn’t a problem–after all, one doesn’t need to be sighted to have a sound picture of ethics–until one day a creature that they had heard about all of their lives came to town: an elephant. They had all heard of an elephant before, but even when each was young, he hadn’t seen one. (Travel back then was hard, remember?) So, as wisdom-rich elders tend to be, they were curious about what an elephant was.

So they fanned out to approach the large beast. Each elder approached the elephant on his own. Soon they were examining the animal by hand: one playing with the trunk, another holding the tusk, another touching its leg, another touching its stomach, and the last holding its tail.

As you might imagine, they all came to very different conclusions about the nature of the elephant: the man holding the trunk thought an elephant to be snake-like; the tusk, sword-like; the leg, tree-like; the stomach, whale-like; and the tail, reed-like. While each elder, in his infinite, hard-earned wisdom, touched the elephant, each elder had a categorically different experience of what an elephant really was, what the truth of an elephant might be. Each elder had a totally direct–but totally limited– understanding of what an elephant was.

This story is as timeless as it is timely. In this traditional tale of the Indian Subcontinent, the elephant in the room is truth. And every tradition–be it religiously, scholarly, or technical–has a different set of hands on the elephant. Which means that while we’re all uniquely gifted, we’re also uniquely limited.”

Source: Fast Company

Yes it’s a lovely tale but ‘why reblog this?’ I hear you ask! Well, for us the moral of the story is about collaboration – great ideas are the result of getting inputs from people from all different backgrounds. And the same applies to great recipes. If I always design recipes to make pancakes that I fancy eating, then they’ll only suit my taste and those with similar taste to me. We want to try new things and create recipes with a whole host of different influences, whether that is traditions from different countries or to accommodate certain food allergies. If there’s a recipe you’d like us to make or an ingredient you’d like us to include then let us know!

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