Sunday, July 12, 2020

We or Me?


Social media faces
photo credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

So, we continue...

Our "snow-bird" neighbors have finally just returned from Florida. After months of their worrying about the hazard of air travel, they're here - after betting their lives on the blind hope that the risks of getting here might be less than staying on any longer in that State. 

From another recent flight out of Florida, three passengers who tested positive for COVID-19, when arriving locally, set off alarms for tracing, testing and, where needed, treatment of anyone associated with the flight. 

Alarming increases in notified new cases of COVID-19 are occurring daily in two-thirds of U.S. states, including Florida. Patients, health care workers and a host of "front-line" people providing services to the community face the prospect of no let up, and likely worse to come. 

When life, liberty, happiness, and peace of mind are breached all at once, the simple question is: "Which leaders are doing what to protect the people?"

Especially in these times, it's a question of what elected representatives are doing for "we," rather than themselves.

It's a question not of what any one of them is saying, but what each does.

Clearing up who are the "we" people and who are the "me" people changes a lot. Not that we didn't notice this sometimes. But taking a closer look is like putting on 3D-glasses in a movie!

There, in sharp relief, is the politician convicted of felonies who gets elected anyway – clearly, he (yes, every one of them is male) and his supporters never heard from my Irish grandfather, who’d quip that there are no degrees of honesty!

Or the political operative who seems to think it's still ok to manipulate voting, or the garbage collector who leaves your garbage bin full on your front driveway because he couldn't work his truck's lift mechanism properly, or the neighbor's air conditioning contractor who puts his advertising sign on our front lawn instead of the neighbor's, so his company name gets a better view from the street (clearly, I need to get out more...) 

Could continue endlessly of course on who thinks of “we” or “me” – say, "road rage" individuals, the open carry and AR-15 crowds, etc. Anyway, for the big and small, the "we" or "me" filter sure clarifies.

Then, since at least 1998, there's the political party that has gathered research data from electrodes on voters, in focus groups that they euphemistically call "dial sessions." They look for bio-reactions to political comments, to determine the "right words" to use uniformly in talking points across the party. What bucket of deceptive self-interest do you put that in?  

But, wait, what about #MeToo? Easy... this is a collective "we," who seek redress from the hormone driven "Me" crowd. Or, Black Lives Matter or similar movements? Again, when these are a collective "we," who seek remedy from the driven "Me" crowd, you can feel good with it. 

How clarifying our language is. What visiting Martian would believe a couple of pronouns could clarify so much - just by looking afresh through the filter of "we" or "me"?

That's the only choice really in any election.

Who cares to do for we the people?