Nobody Calls a Nobody

Last week I was invited to a friend’s home for cake and coffee. Our conversation concentrated on our families, our children and bragging about our grandchildren. What else do grandfathers do?

He opened some family albums and remarked at each photo of his children as youngsters and now grown adults, some with children of their own. I rejoiced with him in his pride.

One of his daughters, a very bright and gifted attorney, joined us for cake. She described the difficulties of her work defending criminals and appealing to the judges for leniency when it was feasible.

During our conversation, her cellphone rang. It was about 22:00 (10 P.M.) and she seemed in no hurry to pick up the phone. After several unanswered rings, I asked her why she did not pick up the phone to see who was calling.

“Nobody calls a nobody” she replied. I was astounded at the remark. I am familiar, from stories her father had shared with me on other occasions, that at her age in the late 40’s and still single, never married, there was a sense of loneliness and frustration.

But to consider one’s self a nobody doesn’t appeal to me. Everybody is a somebody. Each of us has a special gift which others may not have. Each one of us makes a unique contribution to our society and profession that another is unable to achieve. Each one of us has a valuable personality which may differ from someone else’s but it is exactly for those reasons that we are different. Each one of us is special.

I was pained to hear her remark “Nobody calls a nobody”. Somebody was trying to call her because to that person she was a somebody.
There are people who have low esteem, who are unable to realize their value to others, who minimize their contributions and who think little of themselves. It is such a pity that they are unable to recognize their own self worth.

Her parents are pained by her attitude but there is little that they can do other than encouraging her and reminding her how proud they are of her accomplishments. They don’t speak their feelings openly to her because she rejects what she perceives to be their interference.

I do not view it as interference. On the contrary, I admire the parents for their concern, their devotion and their wishes for her happiness in marriage and family.

For people like my friend’s lovely daughter, I recommend that she carry a small mirror in her pocketbook so that she can take it out several times while at her work, look long into the glass of the mirror and view the view that others see… beauty and charm, dignity, respect for the clients whom she defends, and self-pride in her many victories.

I reminded her before I left that there is no such thing as a nobody. The world is filled with everybodies and with somebodies. And she is one of the finest somebody I know. If you agree, tell her or tell her father, my dear friend. It will make the sunshine brighter for him.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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