*Special thanks to Debra Dickey-Liang for stepping in as today’s guest writer.*
Speaking in Pair-ables
(aka, the Perpetual state of “we”)
I do! I speak in ‘pair-ables’! I have become aware that when writing, thinking or speaking about my life experiences and my life journeys, I most often use the pronoun “we.” It just comes out automatically! From childhood, I do not remember a time when I have not been a part of a “we,” and in that one respect, I am very lucky! But also since childhood, I cannot remember a time that I was not expected to be, or when I chose to be, responsible for or in charge of, another human or creature other than myself — a “we” situation! I have no recollection of ever feeling as if I were an “I.”
Being the oldest child, and growing up on a farm, responsibility was as natural as breathing! In my life, I realize with unadulterated gratitude, what fortunate circumstances I grew up in. We were not well off by any stretch of the imagination, but I had a Mom and a Dad who made it their business to see that we were a family. We ate at the table together, we worked in the field together, we did chores together – we cared about each other. Our family was always all about “we” — an inherent and remarkable part of my being, solidifying and defining who I am.
Would I have chosen a different direction if given the opportunity? Would I have struck out to catapult myself into the life of an “I?” I’ll never know, because becoming a Mom established me forever as a “we.” More “we” (sometimes ‘wheee!’) than you could ever imagine, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I have realized that I have no comprehension of a different kind of life, or a cognizance of a life that does not include a sidekick or two, whether they be human or creature. “We!” And forever on my journeys and in my life, I think in terms of my roots, and I realize that my actions and reactions continue to be invariably colored by the knowledge that I instinctively consider and take into account a responsibility for the safety and well-being of those lives that are given me by God to care for and watch over, and my stories expand proportionately with telling to involve all participants in order to embrace the invaluable contributions that they make in my life.
So for better or worse, I am in the habit of talking in plurals. I am a “pair” with whoever is tagging along at the moment, even if it is just walking the dog! I think that is comical. We! In Matthew 28:20, even the Word of the Lord assures us . . . ‘Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ We! Isn’t it grand?