Who are ‘they’?

I know I have said it. I imagine you have too. “It’s their fault.” “If they would just stop then….” There they go again.” They are the ones that even make us say it, but who are ‘they’?

‘They’ is the ubiquitous term for people outside of ourselves. People we hold responsible for all of the challenges we face within the world, country, community, organization, family system, and even within our group of friends.

But ‘they’ aren’t all bad. They are even the ones who create all of the good deeds we see in the world. But we could never be like them… they are special, they have more tools, they are more powerful.


What if I told you that ‘they’ are you?

For my birthday last year my daughter wrote me a poem. It was titled Hope for the World. In that her Mom, me, is hope for the world.

When I received the poem I was a.) blown away that she at 10 young years of age saw inside me, to a part of me that I am still reluctant to admit/hope for, and b.) that I knew she was right. I am hope for the world. We all are.

If ‘we’ are all hope for the world. Then we can’t blame ‘them’ any more. And that feeling of holding the power to take action to create something in the world that we value, that we believe in, that we want to see, is overwhelming; especially to do on our own. And being in conversations about our idea is even more daunting because we can’t seem to inspire others in the way we want to. And that frustration of having ideas, of being a hope for the world and NOT being able to execute on it is the sensation that turns on the TV every night instead of finding a meet up group that shares the same values as you.

We created ‘they’ to off load the debilitating recognition that we don’t know what to do or where to start with the complex challenges we face in the world.

And I don’t have the answers. But neither do ‘they’.

I believe, as many have stated, that progress happens when an individual has an idea and then convenes others to explore the idea. And through the dissemination of the idea more people come to feel connected to it. It has value to them, and they recognize their values in the idea.

The group who shares these values starts to create practices to support their idea: frequency of meeting, subjects discussed, conversations happen and as a result action occurs in the world.

We all have this potential: to lead our lives in which the very life we lead is hope for the world.

Why wait? As Ira Glass, creator of This American Life, says in his iconic quote about the gap between our taste (values) and our creativity (action in the world), “it is only by going through a volume of work that you will close the gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions.”

But most of us stop even before we start because ‘they’ will always be better. ‘They’ really are the hope for the world. Not me.


For five years I have been consistently writing this blog. Have you felt inspired by it? Have you read it and maybe felt not so alone sometimes? Have you felt that ‘she’ can say those things but what do I have to say?

Well, I am here to tell you that your voice is what the world wants to hear. Do not turn on that TV! Create your own show. You are Hope for the World. Begin your volume of work now.

If you are having trouble getting started, invite perspective. Try our Visioning Course or join us on March 24th and 25th in downtown Seattle for The Leadership Adventure. These courses might just be the impetus that starts a revolution.

One thought on “Who are ‘they’?

  1. Pingback: Gossip: a common practice that undermines trust in organizations – inviteperspective

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