I. We. They. The Power of Speech

Our words have incredible power. The kind of power that will decide what kind of person we have the potential to become and the ability to change us from the people we were.

I.We. They.

The context with which these three words are used is significant to the current chaos of the world. It is how people choose to use and not use these them that make or break us as a whole.

I.The word to describe the individual self. Seems pretty straightforward, huh? “I” becomes the separating factor, both positively and negatively. “I” has the power to tell a story but only a single story. This is in a way, a gem. It is a reminder of the uniqueness of the human spirit, that every single individual in the world can use “I” in a different sense because “I” makes a person one of a kind. Yet when taken too far, it becomes selfish, others are forgotten in the mind of an “I”.  

We. The word of community. “We” is tricky. It unifies as it generalizes. Leaving fuzzy boundaries between what is right and what is prejudice. “We” has the strength to bring together leagues in light of a similar cause. It shows teamwork, togetherness, the combination of forces. Yet “we” can lead to an “us vs. them” mentality if taken in the wrong sense.  

They. “They” is the word that separates. It is about creating a tall wall between groups of people, often based off of stereotypes fueled by systemic prejudice. “Them” is a toxic concept.

Throughout the past few months, there have been thousands of articles written on the United States of America election and politics as a whole. While there are many aspects that show a person’s true nature, one of the most telling is the way they choose to speak.

It is with this knowledge, light is shed onto how the speaker sees the world.

Two speeches were recently given by the forty-fourth president in his final days in office and the current president. Both speeches discussed the past and what is necessary in moving forward from two very different minds.

One used “I” in the positive sense, mentioning that holding such an office is an honor. This moved into many “we” statements about how the future is on all of us. We must work together, because together we are stronger, discrimination separates us and makes us weak.

The other used “I” with the intent of self-victimization. Hailing the work of himself over the work of the people. This is also someone who breeds the “us vs. them” mentality, creating a fear for those who have become a scapegoat to the U.S.’s many problems.

There is no perfect person. There is no perfect president.

But there are those who strive for a unified perfection based in community and there are those who push for a society where community perfection is saved for those who can afford it.

They say that eyes are windows to the soul.

If that is so, then language is the speaker system for the heart. It is the smallest words we use that define our thoughts in a way deeper than any multi-syllable vocabulary. They speak to what kind of person we choose to be.

I. We. They. Which do you choose? Who will you be?