On the Hopeless Matter of Names

It is due time to discuss the issues of names. Names are very discriminating little scoundrels, and they immediately class you with some group or another. For instance, if you had to choose to fight someone of the following choice, who would you rather pick: Bobby or Goliath? Most likely, if you’re a normal person, you would cower at even the notion of fighting Goliath, and you would pick Bobby. But Goliath could be a scrawny six year old boy, who happens to also be a pacifist! And Bobby could be a twenty year old guy with a black belt in karate and be a champion in heavyweight wrestling! From this example, it is obvious to see how deceptive and prejudiced names can be. 

There must be a resolution to this issue. Should we remove names altogether? Should we attempt to somehow set boundaries for them? Should nations go on strike against them and pray that they’ll disappear?

Most importantly, there must be a balance. Without names, every human would be an anonymous, insignificant pawn in the great game of life. To add to that, history and personal experience has shown that without names, man will create nicknames. Accepting that this happens, can you imagine walking into school? Every kid would look at you thinking, “Here comes Crooked Nose!” Along the same lines, you’d create names for your friends, too. My best friends are Baseball Cap, Chipped Tooth, and Ear Hair. You’d think something along that trail of thought. Though, when speaking to others, you’d have to stick with a simple “you” or “person”. Governments would lose track of their citizens since there are too many people with brown hair—that being the only defining feature of some—to keep track of. Politicians would have to run campaigns with slogans like: VOTE FOR THAT GUY WITH THE PERFECT TEETH, TRIMMED BEARD, AND FIRM CHIN YOU SEE ON TV SOMETIMES. Babies would be born and half of the fun would be lost in only calling him/her that of his/her gender, instead of loving endearments. The birth certificate would read: Baby Face.

No matter what, societies have always backslid into the habit of barbaric names. The closest I’ve ever seen to a solution to this problem was old England and France’s method. They came up with the idea of keeping names the same in families. Genius! There was George and George and George and George all in one family, split by titles like XXVIII and CXIV and that was it. In another family there would be Frederic and Frederic and Frederic, identifiable by similar titles. England and France made names an orderly thing. As for the discriminating factor, it was actually good back then. If you were asked to fight between Bobby MMMXXIII or Goliath IV, you would waste no time in announcing that you would fight Goliath. Because Goliath’s family tree has only started. He’s only the fourth Goliath, which means that, by golly, his family couldn’t have made a fortune in such little time. And without a fortune, there’s no way to get professional training in fighting. While Bobby has had three thousand twenty-three other relatives with his name. His family tree has obviously been successful and, by golly, he must be rich. Though, as I stated before, societies unfortunately have the propensity to backslide into a more barbaric form of names.

What are we to do? Society is hopeless. We cannot depend on it. So, therefore, what are we to do? I’ll tell you. The only way to fix this whole name predicament is to do it yourself. Erase the precedent. Do it yourself. Change your mindset. Don’t look at a guy named Bob and think, “What a dumbo! Only someone lame can have such a bland name.” Who are you to judge? The most interesting person in the world could have the name Bob and you just might not know it. Look at a guy named Bob and think, “Man, there’s so much I don’t know about him. I’m sure he’s unique, as all people are, and I bet I can learn something from him.”

Perception is the most powerful reality we can live in. It can shape the past, the present, and the future. That’s so profound I’m going to make it a quote.

Perception is the most powerful reality we can live in. It can shape the past, the present, and the future.

Grant Clover (Me)

*If you are Bob and you are reading this, I’m sorry if I offended you by choosing your name. It’s a great name.


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