I am nobody (3) 我是无名之辈之三

Today, Ms. Nobody, decides to get out of the “box.” In her culture, almost every one is assigned to a box. You are a female this old with this background and should be in this box… She is pinched down into a box, where she doesn’t belong. Finally it is more than she could bear. Up she stands, hands on her waist, and she shouts, “I am out!”

And…I have been asked – Why “I am nobody”?

Each time I quote Emily Dickinson that I am nobody, people would immediately give me their disapproval in a kind but stern tone: “No, no, you are NOT nobody.”

Along with their kindness to give me confidence as a human being, I  sense a fear that one may not be needed, wanted or recognized.

It is particular so in the United States, where individualism is not a negative term as it was (may still be) in China, and where American Dream  prevails – any one can become somebody as long as he/she doesn’t give up.

To me, a nobody is NOT unimportant. Nor does it mean he/she, by being a nobody, is not wanted, needed, or recognized. A nobody is someone who gets lost in the crowd: when I walk through the crowd, say in downtown New York, I am simply a moving dot. It is not a shame to be one of the moving dots in the crowd. A nobody is someone who lets go of his/her ego. A nobody knows who he/she is and what he/she wants. A nobody embraces common sense.

A somebody often has power and money, which make him/her feel important. He/She could be indeed important. But…one may not be as important as he/she or others think.

And…what’s going to happen to this world if everyone thinks he/she is more important than others?  What’s going to happen to this world if a very small bunch of people control the whole population simply because they are considered SOMEBODY? Can a somebody be somebody forever? Is a nobody always nobody? Could a large number of nobodies be more important than one Somebody? Can a nobody have his/her voice? If a nobody has a voice, does this make him/her  somebody? What if all nobodies are silenced?

Sometimes I feel we live in an era when common sense has been lost to the yearning to be somebody. Is that why so many people are crazy about American Idol? I can see the positive side of this yearning, but there is also something that makes me shiver.

That’s why I started “I am nobody” project. I want to give a voice to a NOBODY. A moving dot in the crowd one may be, he/she feels and thinks and is important along with other nobodies in different ways.

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