We all have moments where we think we’re powerless. That we’re too unimportant to make any kind of change at all. That whatever we do makes no difference to the outcome. Problem is, that kind of mindset, while normal occasionally, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can turn us into people who stand by and watch, or worse, turn away when we should stand up and speak up.
We may be told all day long that we’re zeroes, but believe you me: zeroes have power.
Jack’s story has always been that for me. A way to stand up and speak up. A way to come to grips with events that should never have happened and put them behind me. A way to remember the people who made sure I didn’t stay down when I fell.
And because I’m thinking / dreaming / eating / sleeping too much of this right now while I edit Swings & Roundabouts, snipping from The Power of Zero for another Throwback Thursday seems fitting. If nothing else, it will keep me going by reminding me that even hard roads lead somewhere new. And that zeroes have more power than most people realise.
From The Power of Zero
“Why do you even bother with me? I’m a zero.”
“Oh really? Tha’s good to know.” Rio broke three eggs into a bowl and reached for a whisk. Since he’d brought him home from the underpass at the railway station, Jack hadn’t been well enough for any kind of discussion. Rio had told him, firmly, that he would stay at Rio’s house for the foreseeable future. Rio wasn’t surprised Jack would question that as soon as he was better. And, judging by the frown, he didn’t enjoy being teased. “Wha’?”
“Why is that good to know?”
“Zeroes are important,” Rio explained while he poured the beaten eggs into a frying pan. “A one is a lonely thing. Add a zero an’ you’ve got a party. Add a few zeroes an’ you’ve got a crowd. There’s no maths without zeroes, an’ computers wouldn’ work at all. Zeroes change things. Tha’s how powerful they are.”
Jack didn’t comment; he drank his juice and ate most of the eggs Rio dished onto his plate, lost deep in thought.
“Jericho always said I was worthless,” he confided as Rio washed the dishes and Jack sat at the counter, drying as Rio passed them to him. “He called me a zero.”
“Jus’ goes to show how lil’ the man knows, eh? Bein’ called a zero… well, in my book, tha’s a compliment.”
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