Many people ask us what our logo represents.  It is inspired by the Pali Canon, an Indian story that tells how you need to look at something from many angles to get a true understanding of what it is.  The graphic part of our logo depicts the elephant from the story, and the hands of the blind men.  Please read on for the full story!

 

The Blind Men And The Elephant

 

The Footprint logoFriends, long ago there lived a prince who became weary of listening to the so-called wise men. You see, each of these men of learning had different ideas about the gods and the sacred books, and they used to argue with tongues like razors.

 

One day the prince gathered together in the market place all the blind men of the city. Near them he placed an elephant. Then he told each man to go to the great beast and feel it with his hands. The first blind man advanced to the elephant and felt its head. The second took hold of its ear, the third its tusk, the fourth its trunk, the fifth its foot, the sixth its back, the seventh its tail and the last the tuft of the tail.

 

“Now then,” said the prince, “tell us what an elephant looks like.”

 

The first, who had felt its head, said: “It’s like a pot.” The next, the one who had touched the ear, said: “No, an elephant looks like a fan.” “Nonsense!” laughed the man who had fingered the tusk: “It’s round, hard and smooth like the handle of a plough.” “Don’t be daft,” said the one who had felt the trunk. “The elephant is like a snake.”

 

To cut a long story short, each man described the animal differently. So the foot became a pillar, the back a barn, the tail a rope and the tuft a feather-duster. Each of the blind men was sure that he was right and that all the others were wrong. At once a furious argument arose. Tempers rose. So did voices. Wild words were flung back and forth.

 

The city’s learned men looked on at all this, amazed and amused. The prince turned to them and said: “I don’t know why you’re laughing, gentlemen. Your own squabbles are just like these poor fellows. You have your own narrow view of every question and you can’t see anyone else’s. You must learn to examine ideas all over, as the blind men should have examined the elephant. You’ll never understand anything unless you look at it from many different angles.”

 

(Adapted from the Pali Canon)