The Elephant in the Room takes you on a journey from a new perspective–the back of an elephant. Catch a glimpse of yourself mirrored in the native wisdom of a shaman in a remote Medicine Village. See yourself alongside Masir, the son, who blindly obeys the father–Crown Prince Sudman, despot ruler of a kingdom brought to the brink of collapse. Witness an abused lower caste, personified by the wealthy Wayan Tiger who leads a struggle for recognition. It’s a journey through life in its strange familiarity with galvanizing forces that clash culture with the power to forever change individual lives and international trajectories. For the first time, people will not be able to ignore The Elephant in the Room. Available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Smash Words. Simply write the author name: Jill Campbell-Mason in the subject line and you will be able to see reviews, further information and order directly!
Did you have anything that inspired you to write this book?
Yes, certainly. Something had to be done to address the extreme rifts between people in this country as well as the rest of the world. As a writer, I wanted to communicate the message through people who were living on each end of many of these extremes. The message is a critical one of beginning healing.
Writing this book has allowed me to expose publicly, in a fascinating, yet understated way, rampant, accepted prejudice and cultural inequalities.
Reading, the act of reading, puts the magic of words and ideas inside readers’ bodies and minds with a subtlety impossible in a verbal interchange. Internalized, it can be contemplated—revised, rethought, doubted—and changed! A new way of thinking, acting and BEING can come about. More kind, more understanding.
How thrilling to discover The Elephant in the Room—and rather than fear it, embrace the danger and possibilities it represents.
In the book, the Crown Prince, with his aggressive greed and power, had the potential to completely shatter an entire culture. He and his minions had dehumanized the population. Only through the simplest of simple wisdom, that of the shaman Apollo, with his community in Medicine Village, was healing begun.
With this story I hope to share the process of healing at its purest, most basic level.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
At the end of the book, in the Author’s Afterword, there are 5 philosophical questions raised, important questions that are thinly veiled, but are the elephants that we all deal with in our lives.
The first question is: Can human personality truly be changed? In other words, if someone seems to be evil incarnate, if confronted with trauma that flies in the face of that evil, can that person alter his or her personality to become a better version of themselves?
Becoming aware of the elephants we do not want to deal with helps all of us to become more understanding of other cultures, other world views, other ways of thinking and appreciate the diversity in this world more fully.
That leads to the second question: Confronting caste. What is a fair social structure in our shrinking world that would combat inequality and injustice? That’s another massive question, all too pervasive in our contemporary lives where people seem to be at one extreme or another. It’s almost as if we can’t talk about what we believe is just and true, but we can’t ignore it either and be true to ourselves.
The third question has to do with moral truth and healing. Exceedingly important for all of us and a crucial value I wanted to share.
Skipping to the final question: does free will exist? Another elephant in the room—oh my! And the reader asks ‘do I have to think this hard or this much?’ No, you don’t. You can enjoy The Elephant in the Room as adventure, mystery, exotic travel, but the messages that I wanted to share are there just waiting to be revealed—and isn’t that half the fun of reading?
Finding out something you feel you’ve discovered for yourself?
I hope so.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
I hope that each reader understands that there are so many issues larger than self-gratification. To echo a refrain I’ve often heard: giving is getting, healing is helping, courage is caring.
Actually, I haven’t heard that, I’ve just made it up.
My joy is in developing and enhancing the lives of every reader through the pure fiction of truth.
In the presence of dirt-poor Mario, one would discover a profound understanding of the depths of their heart and soul, coupled with an unwavering determination to overcome any challenges. Mario’s ability to captivate goes beyond Sonrisa, an American he encounters at the base of Machu Picchu while shining her grandmother’s tennis shoes, as he leaves an indelible impression on everyone he meets.
Embarking on a transformative journey from his humble Peruvian upbringing to a compassionate adulthood, Mario bridges the gaps between cultures and socioeconomic classes, breathing life into once impossible dreams.
As a shoeshine boy of meager means at the foot of Machu Picchu, Mario battles against the fragility of human connections and perseveres against insurmountable odds, displaying the remarkable resilience of the human spirit.
Mario, despite his impoverished background, imparts invaluable lessons of simplicity and bravery to those he encounters, proving that strength transcends physicality and courage thrives even in the face of fear.
Between a young boy who polishes shoes near Machu Picchu and a suburban American woman burdened by the loss of her mother and the disintegration of her family, a profound bond forms, fueled by intelligence and compassion.
In a tale both improbable and exquisite, inspired by a true incident, Mario becomes a testament to the nature of human connection, flourishing amidst wildly contrasting circumstances.
This poignant narrative serves as a powerful reminder that simplicity and truth can flourish, even when placed in the most disparate of circumstances.