Type: Exploratory
Pages: 3 | Words: 686
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

It is evident that everything around us has a name, which helps classify things into categories. Similarly, humans are not born with names, but are given names, which some argue have an influence on an individual’s future or life. To some people, a name is vitally crucial and is close to people’s identity. On the contrary, others believe that a name does not have an enormous influence on a person’s life and does not shape the future or influence the identity of a person. In her article, “What’s in a Nameâ€, Bonnie Wach asserts that names are powerful and might have both positive and negative influences on an individual. On the contrary, in the film Freakonomics, Roland argues that a name does not carry much meaning in a person’s destiny.

It is noteworthy that different people will interpret names differently. However, it is vital to assert that names identify who we are. Other people identify us with the names given to us. It is evident that parents will struggle to give their children unique names. Such unique names are paramount in a child’s life; therefore, parents should take caution not to give their children names with a negative influence. According to Wach, parents are likely to select names for their children which are related to their culture. Such names help identify children with their culture. It is evident that when one’s name is stolen or misused, they feel a sense of loss. This enhances the importance of a name beyond its basic letters.

An unusual name puts individuals in circumstances which affect the personal, social and work life of the individual. For instance, names which mean hatred may deter individuals from certain opportunities. Wach asserts that some names are affiliated to certain jobs, and individuals bearing such names are likely to end up doing such works. For instance, Wach points out that names like Cardinal Sin the archbishop, Bacon Chow the nutritionist are names which are affiliated with the work these people do. Therefore, when a name influences the work a person does, it influences that person’s life. It is clear that the names of the above named people are inseparable from their identity.

The relevance of a person’s name is reinforced when migration to other countries occurs. For instance, Jews who migrated to the United States in the 1950s considered changing their names to avoid discrimination. Wach tells about a person called Rosenberg who changed his surname after migrating to America. He changed his name in an effort to avoid discrimination and Semitism, which was prevalent in America. However, due to the identity a name has, Rosenberg changed his name again to his original surname. This was necessitated by the importance a name has in someone’s life. A name identifies someone with his/her culture or ethnic group. Although a name might be relevant in a person’s life and destiny, it is paramount to note that Roland’s arguments in Freakonomics are key factors in a person’s destiny. While a name may be crucial in determining a person’s destiny, the environment, family, parents, and the community play fundamental roles in shaping a person’s life.

I have had an experience with one of my friends, whose name is largely attributed to rivalry. My friend’s name was Emily. Her name affected my relation with her since I always thought of her as a rival. Although the name has been attributed to beauty, I viewed my friend as a competitor. This reduced my chances of interacting with her or telling her of available opportunities, since I believed she would outdo me.

The relevance of a name in a person’s life is determined by the way people perceive it. In the recent era, people have come to accept other people socially, irrespective of their race, gender or cultural background. It is, therefore, vital to note that influence a name has on an individual’s future has declined drastically over time. Although the trend of choosing the name based on its meaning and influence it may have on the person is declining, parents should still give their children names which promote their value and sense of self belief.

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