Sunday, April 27, 2008

The elephant in the room

African elephant silhouetted at twilight by Beverly Joubert
African elephant silhouetted at twilight

There is an expression in English which has always fascinated me ; the elephant in the room.

The elephant in the room is an English idiom for an obvious truth that is being ignored or goes unaddressed. It is based on the idea that an elephant in a small room would be impossible to overlook.

Some of us do not really see the elephants in the room until we suddenly realise that we are sharing our space with one and then we can be overwhelmed.

Having done Latin at school, my teacher told me that to break down the large and long sentences that made no sense to me at all, I had to visualise eating an elephant. It might seem an impossible task but if you took it one bite at a time, you would manage it in the end.

Living in the moment enables us to rally our resources. Instead of projecting some disastrous future, ask yourself what you can do about it today. Break down difficulties into areas. Divided they seem less threatening, Observe the details of what is going wrong in each area, write it down over a period of a week to give you a picture of what is happening. Which tasks do you feel are slipping away? Which ones are most important? Highlight the areas that need action and then decide how to deal with it.

Tackling a problem can seem like a huge task but if you break it down in smaller parts, it becomes less daunting.
Calmly make a list of manageable steps and take it little steps at a time.


Anonymous said...

"obvious truths being ignored" is something I can relate to. There does seem to be a whole herd of "elephants in the room" currently - and still many people are ignoring them. I guess its the ostrich tendency - bury your head in the sand and the problem will go away. It happens on the personal scale - hence it should be no surprise to us that it also happens on a global scale.


(PS Hope you dont mind - I've added you to my blogroll - so if you start getting extra visitors - I guess you can "blame" me)

Mark said...

Hi Anne,
Had an elephant in my fridge once,I knew it had been in there as there were foot prints in the butter, made a right mess....

I would love to have a go at bee keeping and keep them down in the community orchard.BUT as with everything in this world the good old Health and Saftey police don't like it as it is council property and IF someone got stung the whole world would collapse.
I dont have enough room in my garden so at the moment it is a no goer.It's a pity as I do like the bee suits...

Cheers Mark

Katie said...

Thank you, thank you! Your calm voice helps me assess many different situations in my home/family and find ways to do things differently, better.