“What’s in a name?”
How much do our names mean to our individual identities?
In this day and age, I would say a lot more than during the time of the origin of today’s quote.
When originally stated, the world was a lot larger and diversity was not nearly as common in most places as it is today. Today, communication with someone who is physically not in our proximity is fairly simple. We can easily chat with people from countries that we perphaps didn’t even know existed.
Furthuremore, with the world definitively divided and polarized over politics and socialism, it’s become even more crucial to appreciate our names and be proud of our identities in the midst of prejudice, stereotypes and false perception.
It’s gravely unfortunate today that the difference between having a last name like “Jackson” and “Khan” can alter first impressions without even a word of interaction.
My own last name (Trivedi) is Indian & quite rare but fortunately, I’ve never had anyone associate negative connotations with it. If anything, most non-Indians don’t even know it’s Indian and more often than not, think it’s Italian. Unfortunately, that’s not the case with everyone. I’ve had friends and family members where their last names have unnecessarily raised red flags be it on job applications or at airports.
This, in spite of the fact that in the United States, it’s illegal to hire or not hire someone solely based on their cultural identities.
So we must all be proud of who we are regardless of where we were born, where we grew up, our religious beliefs or skin color.
And it all starts with stating our names with dignity.
Have you or someone close to you ever been perceived a certain way because of the name? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.