we’ve got something — how ’bout you?

There was a great cheer when I was in high school (and no, we will not discuss today how actual long ago that was). But I remember being somewhat enthralled with the “we’ve got spirit — yes, we do” line, to which the perceived opposing side took their turn chanting the same…

“We’ve got spirit — yes, we do! We’ve got spirit; how ‘bout you?!”

The chants would continue for a seemingly prolonged amount of time — loudly, in unison, joined by a plethora of finger pointing at the other team. As the pointing and shouting lost a bit of their vocal luster, one side would alter their intonation by instead shouting simply, “We’ve got more! We’ve got more!”

To which the adolescents — not wanting the other to have the last word — would immediately retort, “That’s what they all say! That’s what they all say!”

Many days I wonder how much we’ve actually grown; let me say it another way… Many days I wonder how many patterns repeat themselves and how adolescent/teen behavior is contemporarily made manifest, although the adults involved now use bigger words, a few more syllables, have a little more money, and dress maybe more maturely.

True, we don’t seem to hear chants of one societal group having far more spirit than another, but we do hear less rhythmic refrains, such as…

“We’ve got compassion, yes, we do! We’ve got compassion; how ‘bout you?”

And we then certainly hear the…

“We’ve got more! We’ve got more!”


“That’s what they all say!”

Maybe it’s verbalized; maybe it’s not. Yet one could easily argue the compassion self-assessment is generously implied… and the rest of the onlookers, watching at the so-called game, get lured into believing that only one side is motivated by compassion.

Think about the current refugee resettlement situation, for example…

I so admire those who desire to love the refugee well, exemplifying the message of “The New Colossus,” the words engraved inside the pedestal’s lower level on the Statue of Liberty. “… Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” I see such compassion, in wanting to care for the person who has less than we, wanting to share what we have and give them what they need.

I also so admire those who desire to care for our citizens well, exemplifying the message of the Constitution, the words articulated in the introductory Preamble… wanting to “… insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare” of the American people. I see such compassion, in wanting to care for the people with whom we live, wanting to be more scrutinizing of those who come from terrorist-harboring countries.

Here’s the unpopular reality. Both of those above two motives are full of compassion. They simply prioritize which group of people to show the most perceived compassion to.

Hence, it’s inaccurate to chant “we’ve got compassion — yes, we do” while assuming another side has none. Yet sometimes we’re so busy shouting and pointing fingers, that we make such careless assumptions.

There is simply no logical place for the “we’ve got more” chants…

… even if that’s what they all say.


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