Once upon a time there was an elephant and a donkey walking down the sidewalk in Anytown, USA. As they are walking along, they meet a tiny snail who is crossing their path.
“Nice to meet you Mr. Elephant and Mr. Donkey,” said the snail.
“Likewise,” replied Mr. Elephant and Mr. Donkey.
All of a sudden the snail was bitten in half and carried away by a large Doberman pinscher.
“This snail died for his country,” said Mr. Elephant. “He should be given a proper burial. We must conduct a search and rescue mission immediately to reclaim his remains. This snail is an American hero.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,” said Mr. Donkey. “This snail clearly wanted to die today. And furthermore, knew that this Doberman would be here to kill him and run off with his body. No such mission should take place because it was the snail’s wishes for his death to be carried out in this manner.”
This argument went on for several minutes until a hybrid half-donkey, half-elephant creature by the name of Mr. Elephantdonkey walks onto the scene.
“What seems to be the problem here?” asked Mr. Elephantdonkey.
The two engaged verbal combatants barely noticed anyone else was there as they continued to trade barbs about what the snail’s actual wishes may have been. Finally one of them noticed Mr. Elephantdonkey.
“This snail knew what the circumstances of walking in this area were, and chose to do so anyway. He clearly had a deathwish, and wanted to die a horrible death right here in this spot today,” said Mr. Donkey. “Mr. Elephant here seems to think differently. HA I say!"
“This snail should have a national holiday named after him,” said Mr. Elephant. “He is the greatest hero this country has ever known. Not only should we reclaim his remains, but we should smoke out the damn dirty Doberman that committed this heinous act. It’s what the snail and God would both want us to do.”
Both the donkey and the elephant stated their cases to Mr. Elephantdonkey. He considered both sides carefully.
“You both understand that there is no clear way to know for sure what this snail’s intentions were, or any real reason to consider him a hero, right?”
“PISHPOSH!!!” said both elephant and donkey.
“No, seriously, there is no possible way either one of you can know for sure what the exact right thing to do in this situation would be. Not enough information was given to either of you prior to the incident so you are both just guessing. It also is foolish to think that either of you could ever be totally right in this instance when you are speaking for someone that is not even present. You can harbor your own opinions and discuss them with others, but to ever think to yourself that your way is the only way, is not only a disservice to your fellow elephant or donkey, but to yourselves as well. Too many like the both of you have decided that there is no other way but their own and that that is final. This is hardly ever the situation though fellas. Look at me, I have a little of each of you in me and I’m pretty smart right?”
“No,” said Mr. Donkey and Mr. Elephant.
“Look, each of you has made valid arguments, and it is now up to you both to decide on a proper way to carry on. All I can offer is the advice that if you continue in this manner that you will probably never make any real progress, and real progress, my friends, is made when more than just one group agrees that progress is being made. Otherwise, it just leads to more polarization and separation.”
Right as Mr. Elephantdonkey finished saying his piece, both Mr. Donkey and Mr. Elephant continued arguing. They were both mauled by a velociraptor shortly thereafter. They are now dead. All because they were too stubborn to listen to anyone and try to meet in the middle...