I don’t even know why we have names!
By Blu Donation
In conventional society there are usually two types of names for a person to be referred to as. These are nicknames and given names. Given names represent legally who we are, who we were born as and who we’ve become expected to be. With this level of importance in mind it’s understandable that any additional names might add complexity that most would rather avoid. This does not mean however we should keep only one name.
Names are in the simplest terms labels, they are used to identify something. However a name reveals very little about a person. After all the name Susan Schmitz could be your friendly grandmother who has the world swimming record, or the couch potato who never graduated high school and anywhere in between. Unlike scientific names, human names do not stem from characteristics about the creature it labels. A giiven name is generally received at birth before a persons true nature and achievements are shown. This does not mean that names themselves do not have meaning and in fact the name Susan translates to graceful lily in its Hebrew origins. However whether a parent’s child becomes this graceful lily is impossible to predict at birth. If names did affect behavior, the name “Brutus” would come with a better warning label.
Nicknames are different, they are not dependent on a persons parents but themselves. When someone earns a nickname it becomes an easy way to refer to a known individual in a way that’s more enjoyable or comfortable than their real name. It can even display some achievement one wants known to the world. When someone wants another name this is generally what they receive. It is a defining label which unlike a person’s given name defines how a person is viewed at least in part.
Here is where it all gets taboo though, with the self-proclaimed name. This is a name not written on a piece of paper in a legal office or on the back of one’s football jersey. It’s not official. It is often seen as a signal of a person who has some self hatred or desire to hide, but this is not true in all cases. Just as Johns refer to themselves as Jacks, a self-proclaimed name can simply be a substitute for one’s name. For example, at home Jack is called by his given name of John, his whole family knows him as John so all achievements associated with the name are listed in respect to his Family. Jack, however, is a name most in the outside world associate achievements to, Jack is the name of the school basketball player whose always pulling pranks on his team, not John. Still while both names have origins and meanings, neither definition truly describes John/Jack as a person, however each individual label has now in the same person acting the same ways earned two completely separate achievements associated within them. While not the label of one man, it is that of another, and it remains simply a label. It is not a meaning like a nickname but reference, to how people see and associate with a given person. Without needing to act different or hide anything a person who chooses to refer to themselves other than the title they are given gains re spect and associations within the realm of where it is used.
While treated as some holy idol given names only differ from self proclaimed names in their chooser and legal representation. However by one not being given by another individual does not make it fake, as in the end a name is not who a person is but what we are associated with something others come to know. So before you clamor to find that origin of a person remember, whether they are Susan, Mary, Rosetta, or Pink, they are the same person, and the person is who you know.