In the new technology obsessed world, I is a word that comes before every new invention. Iphone, itouch, igoogle, ipod, even ireporter. It’s the first letter of the word ‘internet’ (why didn’t they spell it with an e?). It’s a place where everything serves me. I. Not you. Not he. Not she. And definitely not we.
I have a phone, catered to fit me. I have my own music, catered to fit me. I have my own computer, catered to fit me. I go about my life, from school to work to home. What interest have I in those who live on the same block as me? They have nothing to do with me. What interest have they? I have nothing to do with them.
My neighbor has a dog… or two… I really can’t remember. I saw her walk across the street to check the mail. When was that? Two years ago?
I have my friends. They’re mine and mine alone. They’re somewhere on facebook. What a shame Brittany doesn’t have one. It’s almost like she’s not there; just a shadow I see passing by, between glances of the latest text message on my phone.
My history teacher mentions the word “community.” I think it was an ancient practice of living in a group and interacting face to face. What a strange concept; I’ll just google it later.
You. He. She. We. What does it all mean? Why bother pondering, when all I have to do is click… and it’s there.
I ordered a mocha latte the other day at Starbucks and they gave me a latte instead. I thought the world was coming to an end.
‘What about the people who haven’t eaten in three days?’ A voice whispers through my head. It must be a virus or something. Why don’t they just order taco bell?
‘What about the girl who was taken from her home and sold?’
‘What about the millions of people who must pay for others mistakes?’
Alright, now that you mention it, I might have seen something like that on youtube.
‘What about the people of Russia, who stand up against corruption?’
‘What about the people of Syria, who fight against tyranny?’
‘Can you hear their cries for help, as they are bombed in their own homes?’
Why should I care? After all, I have my own life and it doesn’t concern me. And besides, what can can one person do?
‘A lot,’ the voice whispers.
‘Fine, I’ll do something.” I reply. ‘But later, first I have to send out a tweet. And besides, someone else can take care of it.’
‘They could. But the pronoun I is singular and ‘I’ can do a lot. Just look at Rosa Parks.’
I think about that. The power of the individual. The power of influence.
Maybe I can give voice to the voiceless.
Maybe I can give power to the powerless.
Maybe I can spread the voice of reason.
Maybe I, a singular pronoun, can change the world.