‘You people’

Originally published August 2008 in the Dickinson County News

Each time I overhear a heated argument, I’m introduced to this strange group of individuals referred to simply as “you people.”

From my best calculations, this group of “you people” is not among the most intelligent in our species. The “you people” always forget, they never understand and they’re just different from the rest of us. The “you people” are a terrible, terrible race. And if you ever see one of these “you people” I urge you to put on sunglasses, apply bug spray, put on your most offensive attitude and head in the other direction.

The consensus among anyone I hear arguing is this: “You people are not like me – you don’t understand me, you don’t have my values, you just don’t get it.”

I’ve never enjoyed the phrase “you people.” It immediately creates two groups of differently thinking people – us and them. The use of the phrase puts up a wall and categorizes people into groups based on their opinion on just a few bits of information.

I think we’d be a much more accurate group of individuals if we started thinking of us all as “we people.”

We people are mostly alike, we can be taught to understand and we have many common values.

We may not all have the same experiences, but we are all open to hearing about the experiences of others.

We may not be exactly alike, but we are open to celebrating each others differences and learning how those differences can work together.
W
e may have different value systems, but we can appreciate where your values came from and what they mean to you.
Next time you find yourself in an argument, I urge you to try to avoid the “you people” syndrome and look at how “we people” can work out the problem.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle.