Have you ever stopped to ask people you meet along the corridors of life, ‘what does your name mean?’ Or ‘Are you named after a family member?’
Have you ever entertained thoughts of changing your name because it hindered you in some way or are you the proud bearer of your name?
So what’s in a name?
A thinking, vibrant being
A giving, caring individual
A hard-working, self-sacrificing soul
A woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter
A man, a father, a husband, a son
A loving grandparent
An innocent child, given a name with love and pride
A name might have meaning behind it based on family history, heritage or culture.
Who are we to judge the person, behind a name, the name we’ve never heard before?
Such is the individual’s dilemma that some face, that we face, regardless whether the name is ethnic or western in origin.
What is judged in a name that has no western origin?
* English proficiency in speaking and writing
* Concerns regarding professionalism
* Does the person have an accent?
* Does the name bearer understand and apply the rigours of social etiquette in the place and company they find themselves in?
* Is the person intelligent?
* Does the person understand the law of their chosen homeland?
* Does the person read intellectual and philosophical texts?
* Is the person educated?
*Is the person one to be feared or mistrusted?
*Where was the person educated?
* Where does the person live?
* What’s that postcode again?
What voice does the ethnic name bearer want to be heard?
I am me.
Get to know me.
Talk to me.
Try to understand me.
I would like to get to know you and understand you.
I live in a home with civilised values.
I might have the same goals you have.
I have a history.
I respect your history.
Please don’t judge me before you know me.
I don’t judge you, I seek to understand.
I am an ethnic individual, by whose definition I might ask?
I really don’t want another moniker.
My name means rosary/meditation beads.
What’s your name?
What does your name mean? How does it define you as you see yourself and your worth, which we all have, to share in this world?
This makes me feel that I came into this world to write my name upon the face of life with big letters.
Khalil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American Artist, poet and writer
A name pronounced is the recognition of the individual to whom it belongs. He who can pronounce my name aright, he can call me, and is entitled to my love and service
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, poet and philosopher.
Be yourself, everyone else is already taken
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish playwright, essayist, and poet
Celebrate diversity, celebrate the cultural origins of names. Value for the individual should come from what one upholds or defends to enhance the human condition.
Was there a time in your life when you wanted to change your name to extend the opportunities that might have been available to you if your name had no particular ethnic or western origin?
Please comment in the box below, a history shared opens the pathway to understanding, tolerance and acceptance for a world we can boldly, safely and respectfully traverse.