When he presents Bilbo Baggins as the 14th member of the dwarf company hoping to reclaim their home — the mountain Erebor — from the claws of a gold-hoarding dragon, Gandalf faces much resistance. The dwarves don’t think Bilbo’s up to the task. He can’t fight. He can’t fend for himself in the wild. He’s not even a dwarf!
Eventually, however, Gandalf slams his fist on the table and settles the debate once and for all, particularly pointing out one quality: “Hobbits are remarkably light on their feet. In fact, they can pass unseen by most, if they choose.”
As it turns out, the traits that initially make him such an unexpected choice for a journey like this will eventually be the ones allowing Bilbo to most aid, sometimes even save, his company. Most of all the fact that, most of the time, no one cares about a hobbit passing by.
The point for you and I is that it’s okay to be a hobbit. To most people, you always will be. You’ll go unnoticed, and that’s exactly how it should be. It’s how we manage to live in a world too vast to comprehend.
Imagine you had to be involved in every situation of everyone you’re even vaguely familiar with. Whenever your neighbor comes home, they’ll keep you busy for ten minutes. As soon as you leave your house, a crowd of people follows you around. Doesn’t that sound exhausting?
Going unnoticed is freedom, not misery. You don’t have to be an elf, constantly glowing, commanding the full attention of every room you enter. You’ll be much happier being a hobbit, minding your own business, going about your day as you please while doing the best you can.
And if you ever feel discouraged, remember that even Gandalf, who already believed in the power of hobbits, thought their lightness was far from the end of their potential: “You can learn all that there
is to know about their ways in a month, and yet, after a hundred years, they can still surprise you. Hobbits are amazing creatures.”