new short story collection. Out now!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for Me


““I had to call the police again. About next door.”

Lilijana stared at him, waiting for explanation.

He paused, realizing how daft he’d probably sound. “I’m going to show them where the trouble is.”

A heavy sigh preceded her reply. “Leave it to the police. Can’t you mind your own business?”

“Can’t you mind yours?””

-Loathe Your Neighbor ch. 2

I is the only letter in English which gets capitalized regardless of where it appears in a sentence. I wonder what’s so special about it. I can’t help feeling that the architects of modern English were trying to say something about themselves, and therefore, by extension, about us all. There’s a song by Hoobastank called All About You. Thinking about it reminds me of the insurance company ad from many years ago which told us that the most important person in the world is you. We do have a bit of a propensity to be overly interested in ourselves. How we speak to other people, how we treat them, how we behave generally, can sometimes give the strong impression that we think we are more important than other people. Check yourself, next time you are chatting with someone. Pay attention to how closely you actually listen to them rather than nod or shake your head while planning what you are going to say. It is not easy in individualistic societies to quell the voice of self, the demands of the I. I think we are all basically selfish. Not that we do not have the capacity and the willingness to act selflessly, we do. It’s just that we don’t always have the power to do the right thing that we know we should do, and it’s because we have been trained to be selfish. I could be way off here. I could be speaking gibberish. I, I , I…. One of the main reasons I struggle with marketing as an author, is that I feel uncomfortable talking about myself all the time. The paradox is that we are all important, but not more important than anyone else. Or are we?
 
P.S. I only used the word I eleven times.

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