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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)

By Ed VanDeMark



“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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This article has been read 605 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany11/30/06
I love this article! It has humor and truths all throughout! I shared it with my husband and he could relate!!Nice writing!
Edy T Johnson 11/30/06
Ouch! What a great job, gently pointing out how the "We" folk can drive the "Me" people crazy. Since my preference is to never serve on a committee ("just give me a job to do!"), I need to remember NOT to "volunteer" my husband when I like an idea. Thanks for sharing your insights so eloquently.
Catrina Bradley 11/30/06
Very good - enjoyed this tremendously. Good line about inverting the M to a W. Well written!
Joanne Sher 12/01/06
Definitely did a wonderful job of getting your message across! Well-written!
Donna Powers 12/01/06
I enjoyed this very much and you definitely got conveyed your message. Good job!
Leigh MacKelvey12/02/06
I loved the line about a "sense of fashion being a tool belt" ! Very clever writing!
Dennis Fletcher12/02/06
Well written, I can't believe that I fit into this, except I'm the "Me" that likes to build.
Esther Phillips12/04/06
This was so much fun, I read it incredibly quickly. I didn't want to get stuck on whether I was Me or the We. Good job.
Pat Guy 12/05/06
Perfectly awesome take on the topic that sooooo describes so many of Me's! ;)

Loved it - an absolute joy to read!
Michelle Burkhardt12/06/06
I guess we can all be a "me" at some point. Cute. Nice Job.
terri tiffany12/07/06
Hurray Ed!! I told you it was one of my favorites! Now you can move up!!