Monday, January 11, 2010
One, a figure of speech
I worked for a man for a period of time, fortunately brief, who referred to himself as, One! Not I, or Me, or even the collective ,We, meaning those of us in the business, but solely and deliberately ,One. As in, " One thinks this", or "One does this", or "One has no patience with ". It might have been forgiveable if he referred to himself as Oneself. At least it would be a recognition that he was saying more about himself than the subject he thought he was talking about.The pronouns we use may be a marker, revealing of our inner self. It occurred to me at that time that we could classify people, in one form of measure, as those wanting to please, and those wanting to be pleased! It's not that he was difficult to work with because he wasn't, he just saw himself as not one of the "little people". I am occasionally astounded at the boundless self confidence of those in command. " What is good for General Bullmoose ,is good for the country!" The wanting to please may be seen as a "toadying" by some, or reflective of a wish to get ahead by any means, or at all cost, by others. Undoubtedly this may be so, but it fails to account for the dictum that, he who would lead must first be a servant to all. If you follow that dictum it doesn't mean you should discard your boundaries. It just means hard work! The lofty outlook of One, who saw himself as exercising "Noblesse Oblige"at every opportunity was, in fact, a social innocent. Needing to be pleased may be a precarious and fragile walk of life. The hounds will be at your heels.