Posted by: r.m. | February 20, 2011

The “I”, the “we” and my family

Perhaps it is odd… but at moments like these, I find myself feeling grateful for my family.  Not merely grateful for their love, per se, or for their presence in my life.  But grateful for them – for the way they are.

Here’s one simple example of what I mean.

My mother (and father and brother and his family) live in North Carolina (U.S.). I live in Lebanon.  Every day, my mom and I talk.  Since the revolts in Tunisia, a significant part of our conversations has been about the protests. …  Our lives are not merely what happens to us – as isolated individuals; what happens around us, to our communities, in the world and to the world, are part of us, and thus part of our conversations.

I realized yesterday that had my family (parents and brother) not included the life around us in our daily, small, individual lives, I may have grown up to be like so many people around me — thinking that the “I” is separate from the “we” and that the “we” includes only individuals within the narrowest of definitions (either family, or neighborhood, or nation-state).

As a child, I thought all families were like mine. Whenever I realize that there are families who foolishly and falsely separate the political from the personal, I become more grateful for my own family.

So thank you, mother.



  1. Sorry, but i have to interfere. What do you mean by personal? Can’t the political issues be considered as personal?

  2. That is exactly my point. It is foolish to separate the political from the personal

  3. Thank you for the clarification Dr Rania.

  4. Now the brother answers. When the “we” is meaningfully and frequently expanded (and in multiple dimensions) beyond the immediate few, one’s connection with the world equally grows. The web of life becomes more intricate and interesting, just as the World Wide Web of the Internet becomes more meaningful by expanding out from a few limited sites. The sense of camaraderie and community grows, both in the physical and virtual realms. After all, life is not a spectator sport.

    So politics in this sense is not about listening or partaking in the daily news sessions. It is about understanding one’s connection with the world and with the forthcoming events. So yes, there can be no real separation of the political from the personal, at least not without being superficial and disconnected from reality.

  5. […] My brilliant brother (Wael is his name) commented on an this earlier post (The “I”, the “we” and my family) […]

  6. Wael: I really like your comment.

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