No One Comes from Nothing _ Stop Saying This! 1

“I came from nothing.”  “S/he came from nothing.”  I hear this phrase applied or self-described regularly when someone who has made an achievement noteworthy enough to make the news recounts the journey.  It is a convenient sound bite and it drives me coo-coo plus it just isn’t true.

flower-tree-growing-concrete-pavement-101Stop saying it!

Everybody comes from something.  It might be a little something.  Everybody comes from two at the moment of conception.  Everybody has a lineage of ancestors who existed and whose genes flow through them.plant-growing-from-soil

Don’ ever say about yourself or about anybody else that you/they came from nothing.   You may come from modest circumstances.  You may have endured hard times.  You may have had a ton of strikes against you.  You may have had indifferent, neglectful or abusive parents but you still came from something and someone(s).

Don’t ever say about yourself or somebody else that you/they came from nowhere.  Some of the most brilliant and/or notable people to ever walk the planet owe their creativity to their challenging (sometimes horrific) backgrounds and circumstances.  As an avid reader of memoirs, this reality is oft repeated. (And I know these circumstances have destroyed a lot of souls.)

Perhaps you should have had more.  More like others: more resources, more things, better parents , loving relatives and a wholesome, nurturing community.  Perhaps you didn’t have enough or the basics that every child should have but you had something: a start.  A start is the first thing it takes.images-brown-hands

So please don’t say you came from nothing.  You came.  You exist and all things are possible from there…look at YOU!



Learning from the Lives of Others: My Fascination with Memoirs (I’ve read a bunch of memoirs since this post was published in 2010 but these books are still potent.  One recently read that I recommend is: Not My Father’s Son by actor Alan Cumming.


About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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