Names are important. Nick names are cute but birth names carry a lot of meaning. Parents name their children after persons they love and admire. They hand down names of those who they have left an indelible mark on their lives and they choose to remember them through their child. Parents also name their children based on who they desire them to be or believe that they are. They give them strong names, beautiful names, popular names, catchy names, thoughtful names.
Strangely enough, we do not invest much in our understanding of them. Sure, we know our name. We can spell our name. But, we do not see ourselves based on our first name. Instead, we repeat the names, live the names, identify with and answer to the names, that bullies, bitter family members, strangers and our society calls us.
I have an interesting name: Starlette. Not many people have it. I have counted fourteen people so far. We are small group but the name is great.
Often when I tell people my name, I add, “Yes. It’s my real name.” I know that there are Hollywood starlets but this is not a stage name. And the name has great power. It’s hard to be a wall flower, a shrinking violet with a name that means “brilliant performer.” Brilliant. Performer.
Simply saying my name has reassured me, comforted me and reminded me of who I am. I need only say it and it sets the record straight. I need only repeat it to gain my footing. I need only introduce myself by it and come to light.
Now, I don’t know your name or its meaning but I am sure that it has more benefits than the name that the social construct of race calls you. My name is race-less as anyone can be a brilliant performer. So, what’s your name?