I Am Nobody and So Are You

Understanding Our Place in the Universe

Photo by Aaron Mello on Unsplash

Who am I? Who are you? In the grand scheme of the universe, do you even matter? Do I? I haven’t invented anything that will change the course of the world. Have you? I work from home and type my thoughts on Medium and Twitter while others are running for political office to help their districts. What about you?

Just because we have a voice and a venue to use it online doesn’t mean we are somebody. Just because we have an increasing amount of followers doesn’t make us somebody. We can only be ourselves. And I am fine with that. Are you?

I am nobody and so are you. But I’m not mad about it. Are you?

Why I Am Nobody

I am some kid who was born in New York City in 1971. Big deal. Standard white kid. Two Jewish parents. One of who was as areligious as a person could be. This is all just regular stuff. It’s nothing.

I am nobody. But that doesn’t mean I am not somebody. Or does it?

I lost my mom when I was 20. My dad when I was 33. I wasn’t the first person this happened to and I won’t be the last. I once pissed my pants in 8th grade. Again, pat on the back.

I am nobody.

I like to tell people all of the things I have done as if it actually means something. But it’s just a story. Part of the story of my life. But I am just one of billions of stories. And I don’t know almost all of the other ones. So how did I get this notion that I was somebody?

“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
— Theodore Roosevelt

Maybe we should all want to be nobody.

Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

Why You Are Nobody

You might think you are one-of-a-kind, but I’m sorry to break it to you — you’re not. There are others just like you. There are others who have your opinions. Your demographic data. There are others who think just like you. You just don’t know them. And you may never meet them.

There are people way smarter than you. There are people that you are way smarter than. There are people who share your exact IQ. But they may not look like you. Or act like you. But they are like you. Because you aren’t as unique as you think you are.

You know how they say every single snowflake is different? Great. But how many snowflakes do you see that look different from each other? Most of them, to us, look exactly the same.

That’s the universe. Staring back at us.

If you are one of billions on this planet. And this planet is spinning in space. In a galaxy of other planets. How important can you really be? How can you comparatively be someone when there are this many people?

Maybe it makes you feel good to call yourself somebody. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t nobody.

“Nobody understands another’s sorrow, and nobody another’s joy.”
— Franz Schubert

Maybe we should all want to be nobody.

Being Somebody is the Same as Being Nobody

The interesting thing is that if you take a broad look at the universe, being somebody is the same as being nobody. Because the majority of the universe doesn’t even know you exist.

They don’t know what you do. They don’t know your lunch preferences. They don’t know what your face looks like. So, how are you somebody? And if you are, how is that different than being nobody to the rest of the universe?

What’s the difference between wanting to be somebody and wanting to be nobody? Or is it that we want to be “somebody.” As in, a readily recognizable human to a reasonable person who knows things. But even as “someone,” there will be billions of people who have no idea who you are.

So are you somebody? Or nobody?

Does it even matter?

It’s the same thing.

“Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.”
— George R. R. Martin

Maybe we should all want to be nobody.

Photo by Zi Nguyen on Unsplash

Being Nobody Isn’t a Bad Thing

What’s wrong with being nobody? Does that not serve the need to become “something” or “someone?” That thing our parents told us growing up. That they want us to grow up to be someone. But weren’t we someone then?

Weren’t we always somebody? And nobody? At the same time. Sometimes we are nobody to the people we love the most. Because they don’t understand us. And that’s how it feels. Until they get it. And then suddenly we are somebody again in their eyes? When we were the same body the whole time.

Being nobody isn’t a bad thing. It’s what almost all of us are destined to be. Will they be writing about you in history books in 2,000 years? Probably not. Do you talk about your earliest ancestors a lot? Some might have done the research, but a lot of us don’t even know where we really came from.

And even if we follow the paper trail that exists on Ancestry, at some point how do we even know it’s all correct? And does that change us from somebody to nobody? Or does it even matter. Because who we are is what we have to work with. Even if we are nobody.

“Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.”
— Marcus Tullius Cicero

Maybe we should all want to be nobody.

Understanding Our Place in the Universe

The universe is defined as all existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos. The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies.

How can we be anything but nobody? But nothing in the vastness that is our universe. To understand how small we are is to understand how big everything else is.

It doesn’t mean we can’t make a difference. It doesn’t mean we can’t do wonderful things. It doesn’t mean our good deeds don’t mean anything. But it means that constantly looking for appreciation for what we do, who we are, will not get us anywhere.

Because I am nobody and so are you.

“We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody.”
— R. Buckminster Fuller

Maybe we should all want to be nobody.

Photo by Matt Cannon on Unsplash

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