Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)
By Ed VanDeMark
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“We” isn’t my all time favorite word.
I played baseball where winning or losing was all about nine guys working together. I was never the star player so for me it was the team effort that was important. I was a bowler, a sport where individual efforts contributed to the success or failure of the team. I’ve served on numerous “Walk to Emmaus” teams where I did my part for the overall success of the program. I understand and appreciate the dynamics of the team approach.
…but the word “We” sends up red flags, makes sirens go off and causes me to duck for cover.
When I hear “We” I envision doing things that “Me” would never volunteer to do. Inverting the “M” in me to the “W” in we is a terrifying thing.
“We” Rotarians are going to contribute money to the scholarship fund. I’m in favor of the scholarship fund. “We” are going to sell poinsettias so that “We” have money to contribute to the scholarship fund. Maybe “Me” can sell one to my sister-in-law and perhaps I can buy one for my wife. “We” will each sell 50 plants and if “We” sell any less than 50 “We” will each contribute the difference to the scholarship fund. Whoa… “We” have a run away horse here. “Me” is about to jump off this band wagon.
“We” built our own home. My wife discovered that she loves to build things. I discovered that I hate building things. Linda enjoys the end product more when “We” do it ourselves. I greatly prefer the process of building when it is done by people whose sense of fashion includes a tool belt. “We” is a good word when “We” decide to go camping or out to dinner. “We” is a terrible word when it has a connection to a hammer or wallpaper. The word “We” sends “Me” scrambling for cover until I know if it is related to a screw driver or a day in the sunshine.
Linda and I are both active in our church and our community. Volunteerism is a way of life. “We” both believe in it, but we have different views of volunteering. When I volunteer, I volunteer “Me”. Linda is a generous lady and “We” make a good team. Sometimes “We” is an OK word but there are a scary number of times that Linda is a bit too generous for conservative “Me”. “We” painted a large room at our local bible conference. “Me” insisted on being miserable to live with…for several days.
As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Linda. “Me” can be a selfish creep. There are occasions when “Me” must yield to “We” for the good of the order. With that said Linda and I don’t always agree on what rises to that level. From time to time “Me” is still a reluctant volunteer in the schemes of “We”.
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