One Word: The Elephant in the Room

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Want to write and speak with lasting impact? Want to convey thoughts that touch, that move, that heal?

Don’t worry too much about the right words. Focus first on finding the right topic. (The words come later.)

There’s one right topic, and it’s always the same:

Elephant in the Room

It’s the elephant in the room.

No, not the political elephant. The other one. Yes, that’s right – that elephant right over there.

It’s the topic everyone needs to talk about, but no one is talking about.

Because they aren’t sure how. Because they’re scared. Because they long for someone else – anyone else – to go first.

So go first. Say something. Write something. Jump-start the conversation.

Realize, as you do, why people feel uncertain and scared. It’s because that taboo topic – the elephant in the room – is by its nature uncertain and scary.

It’s also deeply divisive, even polarizing. Hence, tough to talk about.

Do it wrong, and you may only widen the divide. Fiery demagogues know the power of elephant-in-the-room discourse. That’s one secret to their success.

Long-term you’ll do better to address the elephant with courtesy, tact, respect, and moderation, using mild words that map out common ground.

But as far as impact goes, it works either way.

And there’s always an elephant in the room!

(This article is part of my series on words that are #worth1000pictures.)


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