In early times in Japan, people used bamboo-and-paper lanterns with candles inside to see at night. A blind man, visiting a friend one night was offered a lantern to carry home with him.
‘I don’t need a lantern,’ he said. Darkness or light is all the same to me’
‘I know you don’t need a lantern to find your way,’ his friend replied, ‘but if you don’t have one someone else may run into you. So you must take it.’
The blind man started off with the lantern and before he had walked very far someone ran squarely into him. ‘Look out where you’re going!’ he exclaimed to the stranger. ‘Can’t you see my lantern?’
‘I can see your lantern, brother,’ replied the stranger, ‘but your candle has burned out.’