Number one. The best. The greatest. One and only. The one who won. First.
Number two. Second best. Part of a pair. Too much. Too little?
Put them together and you have 1, 2. Easy counting. Accounting. The best and the second best, or the first and too little. Too little to have won.
Or, you have a dozen. Twelve. A full complement of apostles. A full carton of eggs.
Then there is 1/2. That’s not even one. But one can be half of two. Which is funny, because being number one is so much better than being number two. But two cannot be half of one. It is twice as much as one.
When I say you are number one and I am number two, do you feel superior? Or part of a dynamic duo?
Ask any child about number one and number two, and you know what they will tell you. They are bodily functions. It’s too bad that we don’t remember this when we get older. Both number one and two are necessary for healthy body performance. One isn’t better than two–both are singular (as in unique), but also as ordinary as elimination (like, everyone poops). What is society’s obsession with always wanting to measure and determine who is number one?
Isn’t each and every one of us a number one in some way? And a number two in another (or three, or four, or five, or six)?
It’s time to stop seeing ourselves as numbers in a rating system. I just want to be, don’t you?
Here’s my own Seuss-y poem of the day:
I try to be my best me, and you, too,
Are trying your best to be your best you.
So really, when everything’s said and done,
Can we say who’s second and who’s number one?
We ought to be called dumb and dumber
When we look at each other and just see a number.
A person’s a person, with so much inside,
Not a thing we can use a number to hide.
© Carol Wiebe