THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.  Let’s ask it a few questions instead of ignoring it in the hope that it will go away.  The elephant might well feel that it has as much right to be there as the rest of the elephants – because let’s face it remaining silent doesn’t help.

And that’s the interesting thing about it because there are a lot of people out there who talk about speaking out but who aren’t too keen to speak out themselves and so the elephant gets bigger and bigger until the likelihood is it will explode leaving a lot of detritus behind.

Of course, the thing about life is that people like to pretend – it’s so much easier to evade the issue than to face it head on but behind closed doors you may be sure that people work mighty hard when it comes to keeping things secret.

Mind you, there are times when keeping things secret is important because sometimes it’s another way of protecting people and making sure that their livelihoods are not affected.

So then it’s a good thing.  When it ceases to be a good thing is when people want to cover up something because it means  they won’t benefit in the same way after the elephant is uncovered. That’s why millionaires pay accountants to find ways for them to avoid paying taxes while fraudsters find ways to fiddle the system.  Whatever way you look at it the millionaire and the fraudster are one and the same – both of them want something for nothing.

So that’s a big elephant – particularly if you don’t want someone to know how much you are being paid because then they might begin to question why they are only getting half that amount for doing twice the amount of work.

That’s why we have Socialists and Communists and Liberals and Conservatives – the former want what the latter has, while the latter has what it has by keeping the former uninformed.  You see, once people start to play the elephant card, there’s no easy way out.

The elephant in the room makes everyone on the inside feel uncomfortable – they’d prefer to keep the elephant outside where they can keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t blow its trumpet too loudly and start a riot.

That’s because no-one is willing to confront the beast. That’s the problem – no-one who is prepared to say ‘Now look, elephant, you can’t keep turning up and spoiling the party.’

But the elephant doesn’t know it’s spoiling the party – it thinks it has as much right to be there as the rest and that’s because no-one has taken it aside and told it the honest truth or, better still, no-one has  told it to its face ‘Listen, buddy, you’re not wanted here.’

Which raises the question – why isn’t it wanted?  Well, we don’t know why and that’s the problem. Because nobody is prepared to speak out.

Maybe the elephant said something it wasn’t supposed to say at one time or another but since nobody told it how is it supposed to find out? By noticing the way everyone moves away when it enters the room – well, let’s face it, the elephant is a large mammal and you wouldn’t want to argue with it because it might look you in the eye and tell you to mind your own trumpet!

It’s a funny old world  – nobody wants anyone to speak out because it causes problems.  On the other hand, if nobody speaks out then bad things happen; people get trampled on.

Silence can be golden but silence can also be bad for only a very wise person or a very foolish one would be prepared to stand in an elephant’s way.

Next time let’s ask the elephant – you never know – the answer it gives might surprise us!

 

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About hecubapublishing

Actor/Writer/Director B.A. English Studies, Trinity College, Dublin. M.Phil in Creative Writing, Oscar Wilde Centre, Trinity College. Trained Actor with the N.A.T.A & and R.I.A.M Dublin, 'Women Playwrights at The Abbey 1904-2004' Hecuba 2009. Short-listed for a Hennessy Award Member of Irish Actor's Equity Member Publishing Ireland
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