“All of us are essential”: Orange City author publishes inspirational essay collection

Apr 28, 2022

How many times have you heard someone call themselves a nobody? Or have you ever called yourself one? Why did you say it? And is it really a bad thing to be a nobody?

Author Merlin Bylsma covers these questions and more in Nobodies in a Somebodies’ World, a series of inspirational essays on the concept of being a nobody. Each essay is paired with a series of discussion questions geared toward self-reflection or group discussion. The goal? To encourage readers to begin seeing themselves and others in a fresh, more positive light—no matter their wealth, status or profession.

“Of course we need doctors and lawyers and entrepreneurs—but where would we be without janitors, waitresses, power line workers, and the millions of others who make the world run?” said Bylsma. “That’s why it has always greatly bothered me when people discount themselves as a nobody. All of us are essential.”

Bylsma was inspired to write Nobodies in a Somebodies’ World by both his family and his career managing elder care homes in Montana and Iowa with his wife, Holly. Over the years, they cared for between 300 and 400 people and never met a person whose life didn’t matter.

Nobodies in a Somebodies’ World was published through the Write Place and is Bylsma’s first book. It is available online for purchase from Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. Readers will also have the opportunity to buy a copy at this year’s Orange City Tulip Festival. On May 20–21, Bylsma will have a booth in the vendors’ tent, open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


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