“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
~Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
I like taking long walks. Nature is beautiful, and a lengthy stroll is always preferable to completing biology homework. When I’m out walking, I have a lot of time to think. Lately, I’ve been thinking about words and their meanings. I find it fascinating how people communicate. Children have to learn how to speak. They are born with an innate desire to communicate with those around them, but they must learn the meaning of certain words and how to form those words. There is one word, however, which a child will always know even if he or she cannot yet pronounce it. The word he or she has been called since infancy; Their very own name.
Names give us a sense of ownership. The name you have been given is yours. It belongs to you. Even if half a million people have the same name, there is something about you which brings character and life to your name. Have you ever seen the movie, “Horton Hears A Who”?The movie is based on Dr. Seuss’s classic book, Horton Hears A Who. In the movie the mayor of Whoville takes his eldest son to the “Great Hall”. This room was designed specifically to honor the previous mayors of Whoville. The mayor tells his son that he wishes for him to, “Become one of the Greats.” Even though this movie is adorable, it brings up an interesting topic. Is “greatness” dictated by the parents to which your were born and the name which they bestowed upon you? I believe that to a degree this is the case. Here I would like to insert the extremely overused quote:
“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.” ~ William Shakespeare
But what if I changed my name? Would I be the same person I am today?
Identity is something that teenagers are known to struggle with. According to tv shows and quote unquote “teenager blogs” I am supposed to be going through something called “teenage angst” right about now. Doesn’t that sound delightful? Thankfully I’ve never truly struggled with who I am. Maybe it’s because I’ve found my identity in the name of Christ, and I don’t need a fancy title to know that I have value.
I had a couple nicknames when I was younger. I was “Sweet T” to my Dad (Because I LOVED sweet tea and because my name begins with a ‘T’), “Tory Ory” to my mom, and “Baby Doll” to my Grandma (although thats probably more a term of endearment than an actual nickname). My permanent nickname, however, is Tory, which is short for Victoria. My full name is Victoria Dianne Kornreich. I asked my mom once why she and my father chose those particular names for me. Her response was,
“We named your Victoria because we always wanted you to remember that your victory is in Christ. We decided to use Dianne because that was your great Aunts name, and she wasn’t a believer.”
All my siblings have middle names that correspond to a non-believeing relative. My biological brother, Toby, is the only exception. His middle name is Andrew (my fathers name) but his first name is Tobias. This was the name of my great grandfather who my parents witnessed to on his deathbed. The names belonging to me and my siblings are a constant reminder to serve those around us and holdfast to biblical truths.
Since I am also a part of the ever expanding youtube community, I’ve been noticing that death is a trending topic at the moment. I suppose this makes sense since the number one fear in America is Necrophobia, or fear of death. Most people fear the “nothingness” after death. I believe the fear that all they will become to future posterity is one of the many names on Ancestry.com is a close second. People want to leave a legacy; something that will forever remain in the hearts and minds of loved ones. I don’t feel a need to be “one of the greats”. I don’t feel a need to leave my mark on the world either. I do, however, want to change the lives of the people I come in contact with for the better. If all people remember of me when I die is the name on my tombstone, and not the God I claimed to represent, then I will have failed miserably. When I’m gone, if all that’s left of my earthly existence are footprints in the dust, then so be it. If I have succeeded in shining for a God with a name infinitely greater than my own, I will consider my time on this earth a life well lived.
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Not sure if I’m supposed to do a works cited page for a blog post or not, but I’ll be a good student and do one anyway:)