I just want to know … Why is They the power of everything? Who made They the undisputed boss of us?
I bump into They all the time, usually hanging out in the company of Its favored sidekicks, mostly Say, and sometimes Want. But I’ve yet to know who They really is.
Has anyone ever met They? Because I personally don’t know anyone who knows They, either.
But we all sure act like we do. They is easily and frequently cited as an authority. Be assured, if you don’t know something, someone else will have consulted They, and they’re quite willing to share That with you.
Do we all pretend to know who They is? Perfectly comfortable with this name-dropping? Has anyone bothered to track down where They lives? Do we ever ask for its address? Or have we all tacitly agreed that They deserves privacy, and we’re united in not breaching its borders?
Why do we allow They to speak for us and to us? How is it that They knows so much about everything? Has anyone ever bothered to examine Their credentials?
Are we a bit fearful when They confronts us, apparently knowing more about something than we do? So we just keep quiet?
Perhaps it’s just laziness. Maybe we just silently nod at They. Or we call They into the conversation ourselves, because it provides us with authority while allowing us to stay on the Path of Least Resistance.
When we allow They to live and work among us, unchallenged, we don’t have to go to all the bother of finding anything out for ourselves. After all, we left our homework days behind us in high school. It’s so much easier to call up a They to speak for us instead.
Let’s be honest — our long-held opinions and beliefs comfort us. If It fits what we believe, if It says what we want It to say, if It validates us and relieves us of any accountability, They is golden. Truth be damned.
Frankly, They can be quite insidious, even downright dangerous. We’ve gotten so comfortable with They that often It doesn’t even show up for the conversation. Someone just dons They’s Mantle of Authority and off they go. We’ve accepted the ubiquitous, pervasive presence of They for so long that we don’t even need its presence announced. We just assume we’re hearing the truths of They … whoever that may be.
Enough is enough. I think it’s time to unmask They. One simple question will do it. Next time They trots out, just ask: Who is They? And then you might follow it up with, How do you know?
Or better yet, next time you’re tempted to trot out They or the words of Someone fronting as a They, ask yourself: How do you really know this to be true?
This won’t be easy. It means slipping out of the worn pair of slippers that walks us through our days, keeping us safe, comfortable and protected.
Unmasking They means strapping on a pair of work boots and doing the painful work of breaking them in. Work boots provide height and support, exactly what we need to stretch ourselves and become tall enough to do the unmasking. Maybe those boots will even make us brave enough to deal with the consequences of that unmasking. Unite us in a quest for accountability. And even help us shift off this rocky, pot-holed road we’re on, filled with forks that take us nowhere except to further validate and strengthen They.
I’m tired of living with They and all of Its pretenders. They doesn’t know Jack Squat. (And there are more than enough of them among us, too.) They and all its pretenders thrive on our ignorance.
They has Its way with us.
Over and over again. We might not like it, but it’s our own fault.
We let Them.
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