you, we, they, them, us

Have you ever noticed how much people like being part of a group? They love it. Walk into any school or workplace or house of government and hand out a bunch of red shirts and a bunch of blue shirts and watch the magic happen.

If you listen to the words people use, you can tell a lot about which groups they think they belong to. Some good words to listen for are you, we, they, them, and us.

You are unique. We are the same. They are different. Don’t listen to them. Listen to us.

Everyone shuffles from group to group, helplessly, all the time. I’m doing it right now. Like did you notice how a few sentences ago, when I was talking about how much people like being part of a group, I said “they?” THEY like being part of a group? I could have said “we” but I didn’t. Why not? Good question. Maybe I hate being in groups. Maybe I like it but wanted you to feel like we were having a quiet conversation in the corner where they couldn’t hear us. I was letting you in on a secret, just between us. Maybe I said it without thinking.*

In this case, the reason isn’t important, but sometimes it is. Sometimes the best question you can ask is “What’s this ‘we’ stuff?” or “Who, exactly, are ‘they?'”

*Hahahahaha! That is a funny joke.