This activity introduces the idea of partial information, opening the possibility for other pieces information that exist out there. The objective of the activity is to help us understand how to work with different points of views and perspectives, while remembering we only understand information from our own point of view.

Story - Elephant and the Six Blind People

Once upon a time, there lived six blind people in a village. One day, they heard that an elephant had entered the village. They had no idea what an elephant was and, although they would not be able to see it, they decided to go and know more about this animal. When they came across the elephant, they all touched the elephant to explore it.

‘The elephant is a pillar’, said the first person, who touched its leg.

‘Oh, no! it is like a rope’, said the second person, who touched the tail.

‘Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree’, said the third person, who touched the trunk of the elephant.

‘It is like a big hand fan’, said the fourth person, who touched the ear of the elephant.

‘It is like a huge wall’, said the fifth person, who touched the belly of the elephant.

‘It is like a solid pipe’, said the sixth person, who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about what the elephant was like and every one of them insisted that they were right. Each one began to shout out louder convinced that their perspective was the right one.

  • Enact or tell the 'Elephant and Six Blind People' story to participants and reflect on the below questions.
  • What is going on in this story?
  • Who was right? Was it everyone or no-one?
  • Who was telling the truth?
  • Optional: Who had accurate information? Can misinformation and disinformation spread more because of partial truths? What could the elephant represent in real life (issues in our communities)?
  • Optional: What happens when people think they hold all the facts or full information? When people think they have the absolute truth/ full information, does this make them intolerant towards other truths?
  • Optional: How could the 6 blind people better understand what an elephant is?