Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"I'm nobody. Who are you?"

"I'm nobody. Who are you?" This was graffiti on a wall many years ago. Very profound, don't you think?
Within the billions of people on earth today, the billions upon billions who lived before and will live after us, we are tiny specks of sand. And yet we can become self absorbed and believe the world revolves around US. We get caught up in the drama of our lives. Sometimes we think we are insignificant and sometimes we think we are giants. The things happening around us can skew our realities - or what we think is reality.
I recall watching Phil Donahue at the peak of his career interviewing Kate Hepburn who had no idea who he was. She didn't watch TV. You could sense a great awkwardness as he felt very in tune with her and her work yet she had no sense of connection to him. He was just another guy asking her questions. He was not used to someone having no sense of him as a person or celebrity. He seemed very charmed by her but I wonder if he had ever interviewed a well known celebrity who did not know a thing about him. How did he feel? It was a wonderful interview but I still remember the imbalance.
We feel that imbalance at many times throughout our lives. It is the source of that awkwardness we feel in meeting someone new. A minute before we met them, we were nobody to them. We may well be nobody after meeting them. They were nobody to us and may be after meeting them.
At the end of our lives, we will likely ask - Did I make a difference? Did I matter? Did I do enough?
As I ponder that, I can become self absorbed for a moment. The answer is in me. If I begin to name all the people who influenced me, the list grows long. I have served well if I can be remembered in the same light as I remember them. I can also count the not so nice people who actually inspired me and influenced me to be better. They count too. And so, the not so nice and the nice, have inspired and influenced me.
I want to be remembered in the nice category but it's likely some will have been motivated and inspired when I was not so nice. They all motivated and inspired me, quite likely, in the ways they were motivated and inspired by many others. Then, it's logical to assume, so shall I.
I would rather error on the side of humility. "I'm nobody," but believe strongly that all of us are actually somebody. I believe in the butterfly effect as noted in Wikipedia "in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state."
Yes, we are small specks of sand. But that small speck of sand, in just the right place, at the right moment in time, can change the course of many things.
Maybe even "I'm somebody. Who are you?" Let's be specks that do something that just might be magic in the end.


  1. Hey, Linda. It's a poem by Emily Dickinson

    I’m Nobody! Who are you?
    Are you – Nobody – too?
    Then there’s a pair of us!
    Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

    How dreary – to be – Somebody!
    How public – like a Frog –
    To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
    To an admiring Bog!

  2. That's right!!!! How could I forget? It popped into my head and I recalled it like a graffiti page. Thank you for the credit it deserved.