A female sociologist on an African jungle expedition came across a group of tribal children playing around. She wanted to take pictures of them as a record of a scene in the life of the primitive people. No sooner had she held up her camera than the children began to yell in protest.
That reminded her that certain tribes believed a person lost his soul if his picture was taken. She realized that she was now witnessing this; the children were protesting against her robbing them of their souls. So, she apologized to the tribe’s chief for her insensitivity, and enthusiastically explained that operating a camera has nothing to do with stealing a soul. Several times the chief tried to get a word in, but she didn’t give him a chance to speak.
Convinced that she had fully reassured the chief, she finally allowed him to speak. He explained that the children were only trying to tell her that she had forgotten to take the lens cap off.
The sociologist’s prejudice against the primitive people made her believe they were ignorant of the mechanics of cameras. So she made an effort to explain how they work to the chief, who she expected would relay his understanding to the children. But the children, as well as the chief, had enough knowledge to know that a camera doesn’t work with the lens cap on, and were only telling her to correct her careless mistake.