All About Nothing

By Marvin Druger

Most of us are always worrying about something. It may be something important, like a health or family problem. But most of the time we worry about things that are not really very important in life. 

What will people think of me if I change my hairstyle? What if I go bald? Can I get the article written by the deadline? What should I serve for refreshments at the meeting? Do I have to shave today? How many people will attend my funeral?

Imagine how nice it would be if there was nothing to worry about. If we had no friends, then nobody would talk to us, since we’d have nothing to say or nobody to say it to.

If nothing existed, then we wouldn’t have to worry about health insurance, paying the mortgage, buying groceries, paying bills, paying high gasoline prices or anything else. Life would be extremely simple, and devoid of worry, since there would be nothing to worry about.

I am a big fan of nothing. Having enough money to survive is always a concern. But if there was nothing, I wouldn’t have to worry about any income or savings. I hide my allowance in a coffee can in a cabinet. I worry about whether anyone will find the can and steal the money. If there was nothing, there would be no can and no money and I wouldn’t worry about it.

If money didn’t exist in the first place I wouldn’t have to worry about buying something or not. If the world didn’t exist —I’d have no worries at all, since I wouldn’t even exist.

I even wrote a poem about nothing:



I have many things

That I love and treasure,

Just knowing that I have them

Gives me lots of pleasure.

If I gave everything away

And had only nothing left,

Then I wouldn’t have to worry

About any kind of theft.

Having nothing would be great,

There’d be nothing everywhere,

Wherever I would go,

Nothing would be there.

When I write a poem,

There’ll be nothing to say,

But I’ll just keep on writing

Until something comes my way.

However, the real world does exist and there is always something. Something brings us joy and happiness and sorrow. We need to have food, water, clothing and shelter to survive. Many people are against having nothing. Some people have much more than others and much more than they need to live comfortably. Some of these fortunate people share their wealth and help support those who lack money. Others greedily store their wealth and spend their lives trying to get even more. Sometimes, I wonder, “What would I do with $50 billion or even $1 billion?” Could I still buy a hamburger and fries at McDonald’s?

In the 1970s, I hosted an interview radio program on WAER-FM 88.3 in Syracuse called “Druger’s Zoo.” The purpose of the program was to reveal the lives of everyday, non-famous people.

In my view, everyone is unique and has special talents and, in his or her own way, everyone is famous. The program was aired in five-minute segments, five days week, for about 11 years.

One interview was with Wally Amos, or Famous Amos, the cookie man. He happened to be on the Syracuse University campus and he walked past a window of the station. I recognized him and shouted from the second-floor window, “Would you mind if I interview you for a radio program?” He graciously accepted my offer. I learned many things from the interview. He told me how he marketed his cookies and turned them into a major success story. 

Perhaps, the most important message he conveyed was the answer to my question, “What do you do differently now that you are so rich and famous, Famous?” He said that he had a home in Hawaii and he pointed out that, “If you have two houses, you can only live in one. If you have two cars, you can only drive one. What more is there than what you need?” 

So, having what you need should be sufficient for any human being and greed has no place in the picture. You can’t survive with nothing. But if you have what you need, that’s sufficient. Having “something” doesn’t only refer to money. You need love, caring and friendships. These are important “somethings.”

So, whenever you get bogged down in everyday worries, think about this commentary about nothing, and your mind will calm down. There is nothing better than having nothing…except having the opportunity to write about “nothing” for 55 Plus.