Everybody Can Be Somebody
Dr. Jim Denison
Everyone wants to be somebody. I do, and so do you. Somebody who matters, somebody who’s important to someone else.
The day was Monday, March 11, 1991, and the president of the United States was desperately trying to prove that he was somebody. President Bush was visiting Anthony Henderson’s school, and sat down beside Anthony to read him a book. Suddenly Anthony asked, “Are you really the president?”
Bush was surprised by the question. “You mean, you didn’t know that? How can I prove it to you?” He showed him his driver’s license, but the boy wasn’t convinced. He showed him his American Express card, then a picture of his grandson playing baseball, then pointed to the black limousine outside. But nothing worked.
The picture in USA Today told the whole story: Anthony sitting with a puzzled president, examining his American Express card. Wondering if he’s really somebody or not. We all want to be somebody special.
I came home from work Tuesday to the tragic news of the killings in Littleton, Colorado. How does it happen that two teenage boys open fire in their high school and kill thirteen people, then themselves? Now we know: they felt rejected by them, by the athletes, the “cool” students, the “in” people. They weren’t noticed, or special. They weren’t somebody. So they did something to get noticed, to feel important, to be somebody. And fifteen grieving families will pay for their perceived neglect, for the rest of their lives.