What’s in a name?


Often, it is the very first piece of information another will have of us. Impressions are made upon hearing a name and judgements are formed. Mothers-to-be are superstitious about revealing their newborns name beforehand lest someone steals it away or cruelly dismisses it.

For me, it was a lesson learned.

“What are your names if it’s a boy or a girl?” Innocently asked. I instantly puffed up, excited to disclose this highly classified information. Much thought and discussion went into the planning and deciding of the perfect names. The world would weep at the sheer beauty. Okay …well maybe not. But it was my first child and as such, my interpretations are far more grandeur than my following babies. “Well. We have chosen Ryan John Marcus if it’s a boy. And Carson Delaney if it’s a girl.” Now preparing to go into great detail about the significance of the names, I am stopped short with the response, “Carson for a girl? She will hate that name.”

And maybe they would not be wrong, we identify so strongly with our names. They are interconnected with the life’s worth of experiences that we associate with ourselves.

They are important. But they are just one. We, as a community, can add to a long list by which we call others. Kind, thoughtful, civic minded, courageous and generous to name a few. I think that I would like these adjectives to follow me around as well. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I introduced myself, “ Hi, my name is Heather but I am currently known as fair minded, mostly kind, seriously funny with a bit of bite.” Perhaps we would strive to be more then we are now. After all, no one would want to tell people that they are stingy, cruel and judgmental.

Ryan means Little King.

He certainly acted like his name as a child. I used to tease him and tell him, “Actually, your name means; he who walks like Nana”. He looked up at me in horror. They both have a nasty habit of veering into you as they walk. No matter the side or the distance, they will cut you off.

At a store on our vacation, Scott found Ryan’s name on a cup. Maybe not so interesting. However, above it is, Peter, Richard then Ryan and below Scott. The names of his grandfathers and father.

A sign that names are important?

You have made Ryan’s, one that he could be proud of. You have made your own, one that people will remember as being kind, caring and compassionate. We have added adjectives to our names that will last as long as our memories.

That means everything.