Mine, Yours, & the Truth
Two people stood in a corner of an art gallery, each gawking at a wall.
The first person said, it’s a square.
The second person said, “no, it’s a circle.
Indignant, the the first person argued back, “No it’s not! It’s a square!”
Each determined that they themselves were in the right, and so attached were they to their own point of view, that they crossed their arms in a temper and turned away from each other. They stood like this for quite some time going back and forth arguing until finally a child approached them. They were so fixated on their own ideas that they didn’t even hear his footsteps.
The child tugged on the back of their shirts to get their attention. “Look!” He cried.
As the two adults pivoted, they saw the child pointing to a three-dimensional shape hanging from the ceiling.
“You are both partly right, but in actuality …” The child’s voice trailed off as he extended his arm out in fanfare toward the three-dimensional shape hanging from the ceiling.
“Ta-DA!” The child exclaimed.
The shape hanging from the ceiling was cylindrical, the light focused on just the right angle to cast two distinct shadows: one of a square appearing on the wall parallel to the side of the cylinder and a circular shadow parallel to the end of it.
The two adults looked back and forth between the object and the wall. They looked back and forth between the light source and the object. As the two adults examined the 3D shape, looks of recognition finally crawled across their faces.
“Grown-ups,” the child muttered to himself while shaking his head from side-to-side. He couldn’t believe they had not seen the shape in the first place and instead had gone directly over to the shadows. As he walked away he wondered, how long had they stood there staring at the walls and arguing?
“Hmm,” the first person pondered. “Perhaps we were so concerned with being right, that we forgot to look around.”
“Perhaps,” the second person agreed. He was peering closely at the cylinder now. One eye closed and his other eye only a centimeter or so away from it. He could barely make out the tiny words he had found etched into the shape.