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Paul Vadakumpadan, Shillong says,
THE ENGLISH FIRST PERSON SINGULAR
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Shillong, Jun. 20. English, as far as I know, is the only language in which the first person singular is spelt as a capital letter.

It is a big I. Instead in German it is ich, in Italian io, in Hindi mein and in Khasi nga. When I was learning these other languages, I spontaneously wrote in capital letters the first person singular, till I was corrected by the teacher. Obviously the English I had entered my mindset.

I have not been particularly successful in getting rid of that big I mentality. It is likely dear reader; you also have a similar problem.  Large numbers of people suffer from this problem. So much so it is no more a problem. It is called self assertion, sign of a developed personality.

The temptations that Jesus faced   were also in this regard.  ``Show your power ... assert your claim to greatness ... turn stones into bread ... jump down from the pinnacle of the temple ... show you can achieve something ... show that powerful I.`` Jesus instead submitted himself to the Father. ``Him alone you must serve.``

One of the reasons Jesus allowed himself to be tempted in this manner was that he knew his disciples would face a similar problem. Not all of them would be as successful as he was. The Gospels mention that several times there was an ego clash among the men he chose. The clash was precisely on which ego would be more powerful than others. There was a struggle for chairs even when Jesus was alive. The Master had to tell them again and again that power in his kingdom was very different from what it was in the world, in their world. They failed to understand. He then knelt down in front of them and washed their feet. ``You call me Master and Lord ... I have given you an example.`` Get rid of your mighty egos, the notorious English I.

This may be the biggest problem of religious persons. Often enough the secular media exaggerates sex scandals. This is because such scandals have high commercial value. Moreover, the ego problem is hardly a problem for the secular world. Instead the world admires the one who asserts himself, the one who can turn stones into bread, the one who can do something spectacular, the great achiever, the one who reaches the top. ``Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant...`` The English I has no place in the Good News. It may instead create bad news. When James and John were lobbying for chairs, the others got a taste of bad news. Unfortunately, instead of calling a spade a spade, bad news as bad news, they felt hurt. They thought they were in danger of losing out in the rat race.

Let us hope sometime in the future the English language will abandon that capital I. But you and I could do that much earlier.    

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