There was once a young prince in a faraway land. He had often sat in counsel when the ministers of the kingdom met with his father, and now, the king was old, and had appointed him as regent.
There were three men who were frequently at odds in the council chamber. Each would loudly decry the others and insist that they alone understood the situation.
One morning, the prince summoned these three men and told them why. "I have heard each of you speak in counsel for many years. yet each time, my father would dismiss your suggestions. You are all noted for your learning, yet you constantly dissmiss each other as fools. Today, I am going to test your wisdom for myself."
He told them that there was a rare gift that had been sent from the ruler of a foriegn land. This was an elephant, a beast that was unknown until then in their country.
"Each of you will be blindfolded, and I shall let each of you touch the elephant. The one who describes it best shall be my chief advisor".
So, each felt confident as they were blindfolded and led into the courtyard, where the elephant was waiting for them. They were each guided by a servant in turn to touch the elephant and then stated their conclusions.
The first one touched the elephant's tusk, and told the king that the elephant was hard and smooth like a marble statue.
The second, who had felt its trunk, said he was a fool, for the elephant was round and rough like a tree trunk, and not smooth at all.
The third, who had touched the elephant on it's ear declared that they were both totally wrong, for an elephant was flat, like a flag, and was nothing like a tree trunk or a statue at all. The three began to argue loudly, as was usual in the past.
The prince ordered their blindfolds to be removed, and said "Each of you knew something, but you would not listen to each other, or try to find the truth that the other had. you were convinced that you each knew all there was to know. My father held none on you above the others, and neither shall I."
When the young prince succeeded to his father's throne, he kept these same advisors, but it is said that they never argued as much as they once did...