I was listening to Amanda Palmer’s song, In Harm’s Way. It helped me realise something.
The word “they” is harmful.
There is only “we”.
We are all one. We define each other by our relationships to each other, not by our detachment.
When we talk about business, we talk about our customers, our managers, our product.
When we talk about people, we talk about my friends, my family, my beloved.
When we talk about refugees, we talk about their countries of origin, their survival, their imposition on us.
The word “they” means one thing: not us. Nothing to do with us. Not our problem.
The greatest crimes of the human race come from splitting people into “us” and “them”.
But there is only “us”.
We can change our language to change our minds.
We can’t change them, but we can change ourselves, and in doing so, change them to become part of us.
Our words have power. Used right, they can change the world.
The United States of America came so close. “We the people”.
But it didn’t go far enough. “… of the United States”. And, it turns out, not even all the people of the United States. Just the ones represented by the people signing the document.
Maybe we can do better now.