Bird Droppings March 10, 2017
Using pronouns as a cover up
My mornings generally consist of a trip to Quick Trip to get unsweet tea and fill my thermal cup with ice. Today was no different and as I drove toward QT I by chance caught a blur on the road, some movement in my lane ahead. A man in camouflage was staggering across the road. Between the rain and darkness I am surprised he did not get hit. It was one of those days yesterday and a word caught my attention as I was listening to a friend talk. The word was them. I never realized the extent of prejudice with this friend till a pronoun was used. Such words as they, them, or those people never are clearly many times terms used to delineate folks different from us. In this case who they was, became obvious within minutes. It was about then that “they” took over in the discussion or verbiage to that extent. In our recent campaign political speeches they, them, those people, and other applications permeated the talk. I wrote a whimsical tale of observation this morning to a friend about watching a leave floating along a stream. My premise was do we allow the leaf to pass or do we interfere lifting the floating leave from its journey to observe or interact.
I recall I had lunch with a dear friend back a few years ago a friend who reflects with me on many topics. This person does not use the word they or them unless referring to political parties or politicians. I recall my oldest son came along as he was helping me at that time at school move and such to my new abode on C hall. This was over fifteen years ago. We talked of education at lunch of why so many teachers have difficulty and of why some parents have a hard time and why some children end up the way they do. We discussed scholars and philosophers and we talked of my son’s journey in school and now he too is a teacher.
We reflected on my own life’s journey and directions and that of several mutual friends and the paths they had taken. We compared our observations, made notes and reflected on new directions and pathways ahead. I raised the question as I heard earlier in the day of them and we talked of them and is there a difference in teaching us or them, is there a difference in attitudes between us and them.
It is so funny when two people, three actually my son was there talking about life and attitudes and we were very positive, it is hard to use pronouns of us and them it changed to we continually. We should do this or this, not us and or them.
“There is a destiny that makes us brothers, No one goes his way alone; All that we send into the lives of others, Comes back into our own.” Edwin Markham
As I talk with people, email and other wise communicate, I find I am no longer simply an observer I am now interacting and altering by my words. It is at that moment of destiny and of the future, my choice to use or not use a word or even discuss a subject and respond positively or negatively affects the journey for myself and that other person.
“When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We need to sometimes take a stand and try to alter destiny it really isn’t destiny till it happens anyway. We can change the direction of the leaf floating by, a slight movement a word and perhaps light can permeate even the darkest of corners and a person who sees only in black and white may be allowed to see color and realize in an instant what has been missing in their journey. A good friend who is professor at a nearby university and I were discussing the butterfly effect. The flap of a butterfly’s wing in the Andes of Peru could create enough turbulence to alter the path of a hurricane. As I thought deeper, never simply let a leaf float by if you know only a few feet away is a waterfalls. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts and pull a few leaves from the current when you get a chance as I will and always give thanks
My family and friends I do not say this lightly,
(We are all related)