Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Name We Got

Many years ago, my kindergarten aged son came home one day to share the story of his new friend, Beige. He was astounded by her name, as was I. My five year old had mastered the obligatory red, blue, green and yellow. He was inquisitive by nature and delighted as cobalt, mustard and emerald entered his colourful world. But Beige? And attached to a person? This fully intrigued him!

I wonder what became of Beige, now that she is an adult. Did she scramble at 18 as fast as she could to change her name? Or did she hold fast to her uniqueness and uphold her Beige-ness? Did she camouflage herself in bright and bold, or did she stay non-descript?

In a recent volunteer experience, one question to newly english speaking participants was "what is the origin of your name; what can you tell us about why your parents chose your name"? Most told of favourite relatives they were named after, flashy movie stars (a young man who chose Ryan said "you know...Meg Ryan"!) but the one I remember most fondly is the sweet, soft-spoken girl whose name in her native language meant "the song of the summer breeze".

So whether you are a Bertha, a Brittany or a Beige - does your name dictate who you will BE? What do you think?

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