September 25, 2011

Speaking in "I Terms"

Last Sunday at a class before church the topic was "Who is Jesus" which was in itself a fascinating dialogue but I won't touch on that in this posting--but a couple of things blew my mind--'nuff said!

However, before the actual class took place some group rules were reviewed. One of such rules was:

Speak in "I terms"

What that meant basically was that when someone gave an opinion or public thought the following terms were not allowed:

We believe
You feel
We learn
You do
We see

and so on...

In other words it was not permitted to speak for others thoughts, ideas and/or feelings.

I have to admit that this was a hard exercise. Generally speaking for humans (as the pack-creatures that we are) it isn't hard to get caught up in the semantics of keeping people included in one's thoughts, activities and ideas. If one is to pay close attention to commercials, documentaries and even pay a little bit of attention of how communication flows between people these very terms will come up over and over.

I've spent a little time paying special attention to messages on TV, radio and other mediums and I've noticed this repeating trend. Is it something in the English language-or perhaps any other language, I'll have to check out how it works in Spanish--that makes everyone feel automatically included in one's thoughts and actions, (marketing campaigns?) such as:

"As for me and my house, WE will serve the Lord" Joshua (Old Testament).
"Join US for coffee hour (or mingle time) after worship" Church bulletin
"If you vote for me, all YOUR wild dreams will come true" Pedro, Napoleon Dynamite.  :-)

And of course, the exercise would not be complete without exploring things like:

  • "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, His Son Jesus Christ and The Holy Ghost..." LDS church 13 Articles of Faith
  • "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible..." Nicene Creed

I guess my point here is at what point do I make my own personal beliefs and impressions part of the greater community? At what point does the community take my impressions make them part of their own, whether I'm right/wrong or just plain delusional? I think I need to start thinking more about this and believe it or not the last couple of days I've caught myself saying things like: "We don't do that", or "This is how we follow this policy..." and have had to rethink if what I'm saying is my own impression or if I should even be including others in what I interpret as a general rule or common thought.

The things that go through my mind sometimes...


  1. This was great! I used it as the topic of my FHE lesson today. I'm in New Zealand and we get together for lunch instead of the evening due to classes. We (no really the whole group agrees!) people need to realize that a group may not all agree no matter how familial it may appear.

    Uni of Otago, Christchurch NZ

  2. Hi Uni!
    Great concept, I'm glad you were able to use it and apply it with everyone else. Have fun on that side of the world!