Number One by Jill Nielson


"Number One!" by Jill Nelson is a story that Jill Nelson tells about her father and his beliefs. She speaks about a Sunday breakfast that her family had every Sunday. This breakfast was like there church every Sunday, and her father was the preacher. He always preached about being number one, and he represented number one by holding up his middle finger. Her father never told the family exactly what he meant by number one, and when she was old enough to have the courage to ask, her father had gone through too many stages to remember. This is a good learning story. As I was reading this, I put myself in Jill\'s place. I asked myself, what does her father mean by number one, and why does he use his middle finger to represent it? I had a few theories, but the one that made the most sense was being all you could be. When she said that phrase, it was like a door of understanding was opened. "Be all you can be" is all any parent can ask of there children. Her father probably was preaching the whole number one thing to them so they would always ask themselves "Am I number one?" If I had a job I enjoyed, a loving family, and friends, then I asked myself, "Am I number one" my answer would be "Yes." Hell, if I asked myself that question now, my answer would be "Yes." There is no actual definition of number one no matter where you are in life there is always someone or something above you. The whole middle finger deal made me think of more theories on what the father might have meant. He might have been t! elling his family to go fuck themselves, which would explain why he ended up leaving them. But he also might have been saying to be number one, you have to say fuck the world and get the job done. But in the end all you can really do is have theories about this story, Nelson didn\'t really say what number one meant because her father never told her what it meant. She only gave her theories on what her father might have been trying to say. One might even come to the conclusion that her father did know what number one even meant it just sounded a lot better then saying do your best. And look how much impact that one phrase had on her life. She graduated the City College of New York and Columbia University\'s School of Journalism. She is a frequent contributor to Essence, U.S.A. Weekend, The Village Voice, and Ms. In conclusion, Nelson showed me the power that one phrase can have on an individual and their life.