“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.
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.
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.
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.