They. / They make our decisions for us. Decisions that affect us, govern us, guide us, shape us, form us. They have an inherent sense of entitlement and purpose to this role. They have always done this for us, and always will.
They are male, They always are. They are in their 40's to 60's, They always are. They have modeled society on their own particular nuances and habits as middle aged men. We start and end our days at the times most convenient for them. We speak in phrases most pleasing for them to hear. We dress in ways most suitable to them.
We speak of them as if They are a collective other, as if They are modern day gods and deities. They are going to do this, They think we should do that, They have decided this, They are investigating that, They have a purpose, a vision and They have the strategies and tactics to deliver all of this. They alone.
They don't care, at least not about the right things. If They saw care, the act of caring, as a craft skill or expertise in the same way that They saw financial services, innovation and manufacturing we'd know that They care. But They don't. They don't care. They know this, however, and know that we know this. They have become extremely sophisticated in telling us narratives proving that They do infact care. They tell us we're all in this together, in an age when it is more obvious than ever that we're not. They tell us that there is no alternative, when in fact we are in critical need of alternatives. They tell us we're being unrealistic, that They are being realistic. They believe to change now would be impossible, when what is really impossible is to carry on as we are.
They are boring and fearful and unimaginative. They collectively seek the foreclosure of our social possibilities. They only seek to invent or change when their image depends upon it, and then it is only done in that image, as a aesthetic. They are stubborn and short sighted, having reached an age where They are now unblinkered in their own narrow spectrum of self affirming knowledge. They monetise and account for everything, even the most sacred values, yet are always unaccountable and divorced from the true meaning of prosperity and what it means to be prosperous. They talk at us, not with us.
They are like oak trees, well rooted into our shared social landscape. It is now hard to imagine how They might change, hard to imagine seeing the fragile but hopeful saplings of new growth hidden in their mighty forests. Under their fortitude. It is hard to imagine that They might willingly allow for themselves to be felled in order to allow for such new growth.
To find a way to change the They we first need to be conscious of them. To imagine the They when we speak of They. They are like the fairies in Peter Pan, They only exist because we believe in them. They do not, and cannot, fill the gaps left where we once imagined gods. They are only individuals, like us.
One day we will, once again, need a new They.
firstname.lastname@example.org | @_ted_hunt |