Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's in a Name?


When my twin sister and I were little, we were called by our middle names instead of our first names. From there, the middle names were shortened by relatives and we became Neecy and Nay Nay by all who knew us. By the time we got to kindergarten though, rules changed and we were told that not only were we going to be put in separate classrooms but also called by our first names. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. New name and new faces and I had to learn to handle it all on my own for 3 1/2 hours a day. It took a while but eventually, I learned to value my name, Simone.

Then the other issue surrounding the names was that we were also called, "twins". It made it much easier on people who couldn't tell us apart. It took away their embarrassment of having to ask, "Which one are you?" All through school, including high school, we were referred to as the "twins". Although I was used to it, I still wished that we were both recognized for being ourselves.

As we ventured out on our own, people were able to get to know us separately. It was then that I realized how much I liked hearing my name. My name is like a label created just for me - it's personalized and special and fits (I think). Because I know how much I like being called by my name, I make a habit of calling others by their names as well. (Plus, it helps me to remember their name when I first meet them.) When I'm calling to speak to technical support, I listen for the name of the speaker and then I'll greet them with, "Hi Heather." To me, it makes that moment that we are talking more one on one and personal. I found this to be true at assisted living residences too. The moment you say, "Hi Harry!" I notice how quickly Harry's eyes twinkle.

When I worked at the elementary school, as difficult as it was to memorize every kid's name, I did my best so that as I passed them in the hall or when I went into their classrooms, I could smile and say, "Hi Sarah! Good job, Malik!" Sometimes I'd hear them whisper, "She KNOWS my name!"

That's why I love the scripture Isaiah 43:1 that says, "I have called you by name, you are mine." I love knowing that there is only one me. Sure I'm not the only Simone but I am uniquely the only Simone who looks, sounds and likes the things that I do.

Take the time to call someone by their name today.

17 comments:

Reyna said...

Thank you for that important and personal reminder!

I know I like when someone remembers my name too.

I will try harder because I know your words are true!

Buckeroomama said...

I used to not like my name when I was growing up, but have since grown to love it, knowing that it's says "me" more than any other name could. =)

Formerly known as Frau said...

Growing up everyone was named Kathy it must have been a popular name in the 60's! I think when twins are identical I have been guilty of calling them twins instead of names. I agree it's hard to remember everyones name but nice to be remembered. Have a great day!

Nezzy said...

Name are so important that I truly believe that a child will live up to their name and that's why we should choose so very carefully.

I jot down the persons name I speakin' with on the phone so lest I forget it...I can thank that person by name at the end of the conversation and tell them to have a great day.

BTW: Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day...pass it on!

God bless you sweet Simone and have a wonderful day!!! :o)

Brian Miller said...

yeah it is nice to hear our names...it is intimate, personal and makes us feel important...i try to use peoples names as much as i can...

Mari said...

What a great post! I know the feeling of surprise and joy when someone unexpected knows your name.
I love how you tied in the verse and the knowledge of how well God knows us.

Stacy Lynn said...

When I first started driving a school bus, the driver who trained me, gave me that advice about the kids and I've stuck to it. I greet each one of them by name when they get on the bus in the morning and I tell them goodbye by name every afternoon when I drop them back at home. Some never, ever respond (makes me wonder what their home life must be like), but most respond in kind and relationships are built. I know I don't have half the behavior problems other drivers have and I credit it to that.

Jill said...

Great post and how very true! My husband is a twin and to this day him and his brother are referred to as the twins... They tell them apart by who they are married to! LOL

Have a lovely day!

Blessings,
Jill

blueviolet said...

I feel like I learn something about how to be a better person every time I come here. Thank you!

Lin said...

Does "honey" count when you have that momentary lapse of memory?? I used that a lot at the school when I couldn't remember some kid's name. I'm sure they were on to me, but I felt a bit better.

Danica said...

Such a nice reminder.

I need to try harder to do just as you say....saying someone's name can change that very moment for them. Adding personalization in a conversation can be so important.

Anita said...

I'll bet your middle names are Denise and Renee. Am I right? :)

I remember reading an article where the family mentioned the names of one of their children, and then the twins were just called, "the twins." It moved me to write to their web site to "ask" what the names of their twins were.

Murr Brewster said...

I wish I could. I'm going to a party with former co-workers tomorrow and I know I won't be able to come up with their names. I've always been bad. And I'm getting worse.

Carmen said...

Simone is a beautiful name. And, I too love the Isaiah passage!

Thanks for letting me peak into your devotion. It was a great reminder.

Carmen from Beloveds Bride

Annesphamily said...

What a simply beautiful message today. I am new here and hope you will join me too. Love your blog and your story! Anne

Wanda said...

I'm terrible with remembering names but having spent most of life being referred to as my older sister's sister, I understand how good it feels to be acknowledged by name.

MissKris said...

Whenever I make a customer service type of a call I try to always take note of the person's name as I'm talking to them. At the end I say, "Thank you so much, Bob or Ted or Alice or whoever!" And you can just hear them perk up when they say goodbye. Our names are ours alone, even if it's one we share with millions. And to hear it spoken by the lips of a loved one or anyone else, is a gift.

 

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