Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's in a name?

Why are things named the way they are and does it really matter? Perhaps, then again, maybe not. It all depends upon our perspective. I changed my last name at age forty-five because I learned well into adulthood that the father named on my birth certificate was not my biological father. It took me two years after meeting him to come to the conclusion that I wanted to carry his name. I did it because I realized that there was a real connection, of blood, DNA and of something else that amounted to a spiritual bond across history that tied me to my ancestors. That same bond also ties my children and their children, and so, I concluded that we should carry the same name. It has turned out to be something of a logistical nightmare to do, but I have no regrets. With every passing day, I become the name that I carry and the bond becomes stronger.

In choosing the name for my first blog, I wanted a something that would describe a part of me. How important is status in our lives? How many of us truly analyze our motivations and actions to determine why we are the way we are? Can we see ourselves for who we really are? And just as importantly, can we see others for who they are? To a certain degree, happiness in life is about managing expectation and perspective. Does a name make a difference? I used to think not, but now I think that the name can influence our perceptions for better or for worse. Labels are focal points and even if they have little value beyond drawing our attention, that power alone can be significant.

I want to explore a variety of subjects that make life worth living. Like most people, my interests are varied and it can be surprising how paths can converge over time. Everything is related. Truth is eternal and unalterable, only our means of perception and application change over time. I hope you will join me as we seek better understanding and marvel at the truths that surround us.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When I was about 12 I moved to NC with my mom and stepdad my mom for some random reason enrolled me with the last name of my stepdad instead of my real last name. It wasn't legal and I didn't quite understand why she did it. I think she just wanted me to have the same last name as she did. So, I went through a kind of identity crisis and thought a lot about names and their importance. When I sent my report card to my Dad and he saw my name he really freaked and I got into this what's in a name... a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...trip. I did eventually decide that my real last name was important and changed it back myself. It really is an identity and carries with it meaning. When I married and took mason's name I was sad to loose that identity and still today lament the loss.