Can you say your name? Or would you rather stay unknown? Stevie Wonder
When I voted this week, the poll worker looked up at me and said,
"Whitney Johnson -- what a pretty name."
I get that compliment with some frequency, but I didn't use to.
When I was about ten, my parents were late to pick me up from the library. After calling and asking the librarian to tell me they'd be late, not realizing I was within earshot, she said, 'Whitney -- what kind of a name is that?"
Not too many days later, I launched a 'Call Me Suzanne' campaign, complete with signage on my closet door. As you may have surmised, the campaign was a bust. Everyone continues to call me Whitney, or some derivative thereof.
Sticks and bones may break my bones, but names....
You remember the rest of the couplet.
Patently untrue, isn't it?
Any words that people use to name us, or more generally speaking, to label us, deeply affect our identity.
In the The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman's non-fiction work about one of the most successful hideouts during World War II, shares the following: