Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Speak Your MindThe elephant in the room

The elephant in the room

People cope in various ways with unfavorable events, situations, or even other people. There are three ways for me to deal with an unpleasant scenario. One method is to try to change the situation by whatever means possible, including force or compulsion. The other is to adapt to the situation, in which you try to adjust yourself at least a little, acknowledging that your contribution is important for the bad situation to change for the better. The final option is to ignore the circumstances, believing that ignoring them will make the problem go away on its own.

You are undermining the problem by thinking that its impact is limited or manageable with this last approach. Personally, I like the first two coping mechanisms, especially the second.

The first two acknowledge the gravity of the problem and the potentially harmful consequences of the unwanted situation, indicating the necessity for action. And, because the need for action has been identified, the two options have a stronger probability of changing the undesirable circumstance and lessening its negative impact.

Disregarding an issue will not make it disappear. I find it ludicrous to believe that ignoring an issue will automatically remedy it. Ignoring a problem allows it to grow in size and impact, giving it more time to take root, become stronger, and become more hazardous.

In my opinion, it is better to tackle a problem sooner rather than later. The major reason people disregard a problem is that they underestimate its potential impact.

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We neglect difficulties in our daily lives. We see the indicators; we realize and admit that it is an issue with the potential to become a significant problem, but we minimize its possibility and impact. We convince ourselves and others that the problem is minimal and will have little impact on us.

However, before we know it, it has grown to a size that we had not anticipated, making it too late to remedy the problem, and the emphasis will shift to damage control. So, wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge the problem or undesirable situation, recognize its size, and devise solutions to remedy it before it’s too late?

Our country, Ethiopia, is today confronted with yet another crisis that is robbing its residents of much-needed peace and security. We have all witnessed Ethiopian orthodox religious followers wearing complete black over the last three days to indicate their concern about the threat to the church’s survival.

In my opinion, this is an elephant in the room that some have decided to ignore. Ignoring and neglecting to recognize its existence in the room will do more harm than good.

Is it ethical to ignore the fact that millions of Ethiopian orthodox religion followers gathered in churches to mourn the loss of unity among its followers? Is it something that should be regarded as a passing phase that will fade away if ignored?

The elephant in the room must be acknowledged and addressed. However, while dealing with it, we must take care that the technique we employ does not result in even more devastation than has already occurred. Dealing with damage by doing more damage can only make things worse.

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