chapter  1
18 Pages

Identity

Our names are at the core of our identities. But most of us did not choose our names; that was done for us at birth. One could argue that our names say more about our parents and their cultural milieu than they say about us. However, over time, we internally associate ourselves with our given names. Of course, names can change, but does a new name signify a change in identity? After all, names have power; the fabled trickster Rumplestiltskin knew that.* To know one’s name is to have power over that person. Naming enables us to provide order to our world. Names convey meaning, and an inappropriate name conveys the wrong meaning. Names are labels used to categorize things and people: some categorizations are flattering and some are cruel. Names also provide a defining lens, and knowing a person’s name helps us to associate that person with an identity.