In the light of recent interestingness in the world and (I don’t just mean the US) perhaps a tale from the indian subcontinents for perspectives, because stories are all I can offer. Stories that are beyond the mainstream Western narrative is what I happen to like specialising in.
Here’s my 1 cent.
5 blind men and an elephant
5 blind “wise” men were presented with an elephant by a king who asked them to describe to him what the elephant looked like
. One felt the body, and declared…
“The elephant is a wall”
One felt the tail …
“The elephant is a rope”
One felt the ears
“The elephant is a fan”
One felt the trunk
“Elephant is a snake”
One felt the legs
“Elephant is a pillar”
Of course, because they could not understand why the other held such different views, the wise men came to blows because they were really passionate about being able to tell the king their version of truths. This is a pity because all it needed was ONE curious one to keep following along the elephant to get the whole picture….which is to say, everyone was partially correct and wholly wrong.
The king was very glad to tell them that AFTER the WWF style bar brawl when everyone got hurt. The king…i must say…is an asshat shit stirrer who makes fun of blind people.
Stories of dualities (red vs blue, good vs bad, left vs right )dominate the mainstream, but real life is much more colourful than that.We live in a sometimes, frustrating ocean of greys. And all tales, including Twisted Tales, come through subjective lenses of how one views the world. Because by a strict definition of the truth…everyone oversimplifies. Everyone lies because words from singular pop corn articles consumed in minutes and shared at a mouse click are blunt beasts that cannot tell a whole story. So you can only keep reading
In a world where it has become urgent that the other sees our point because, climate change, impending sense of world war 3, general doom, injustice, inequality etc etc, perhaps the only way we can get through is to see where they are coming from in the first place. Go to their side of the elephant. We might learn something…or not. But we don’t know till we do don’t we? We could be right in the end, but we should know why we think are right instead of arguing with slogans.
So if you are left, go to right leaning forums. Vice versa. If you are rich, listen to poor people stories and all that in between.
By all means don’t do this at all and go through the echo chambers of social media, where your friends will likely agree with you..and then whip yourselves into righteous fury that helps no-one . But if you seek to communicate and find answers in these distressing times then step into supposed alternate realities, follow the breadcrumbs.
Some stories will be squirm worthy. Some hard to take,but eventually most will offer understanding in those frustrating shades of ambiguity and greys…if that is what you seek.
Then know who funds the stories.…Check the media’s stories, who funds them, what’s driving their industry. If they are found to be lying, don’t be too hard on the journalists.
When was the last time you paid for a newspaper… and if not…who funds them? Who pays the journalists? Can the journalists be relied on to tell the truths or are their paychecks dependant on whose side they are on?Or how many clicks they generate with outlandish click-bait titles?
What do you do if everyone is telling half truths? Keep reading. Sometimes certain things converge. Think of it like cross examining suspects in a crime scene..
Then…when you get a moment, thank the storytellers that keep tales alive, in the face of such trying climate for the arts and storytellers. Then,once again…
Read from more than one source, read analysis from beyond the main narrative (I mean beyond the western media…but keep reading that too). Test each one, read again. Understand history, your own and others, understand people…form an opinion. Question that opinion. Rinse. Repeat. Go beyond your social circles. Keep trying to understand.
Our world is colourful, my conclusion is that dualities and absolutes are for the lazy or machines running on simple boolean code .
Then know that there are those who would thrive on your hate, because hate prevents us from seeing the whole elephant. .
Listen. Understand. Because in these times of confusion, stories are all we have. Differing stories will at first confuse us, it could cause anger. It’s ok…if you keep testing the logic of every tale and every opinion we read,somewhere along the way. Some things will converge and a whole picture (clearness may vary) will emerge.
You are going to see the whole elephant or at least a silhouette. For some of us, we will see the sick shit stirring powers that started it all in the first place and dropkick them instead. There are those who profit from hate, know how, know why.
Right…folks. That’s all I got. Now go be curious, awesome people who see WHOLE elephants in rooms. That’s my 1 cents worth, because most of you who made it this far into the article probably already do…see them elephants in varying wholes. 🙂
edit: Fixed Typo. Turns out my elephant had many ears and no trunk. Sign of our mutating times. Thanks Karl Goodloe 🙂