Ever since the beginning of time, we were all given a name. A given name is also referred to as a first name or a forename that identifies a person, and which differentiates one person from another in maybe a certain family or clan.
Some names are unique such as mine and others might be common such as James, John, Robert, Mary, Stephanie, Kellie, or Jennifer. Some names have either cultural or spiritual meanings such as Aylanna (our deceased Chihuahua) that means "effective witness, " Stephanie that means "Illuminated", Kellie that means warrior or defender, or Dalan or its equivalent as "Secure."
We also have titles such as a sanitation worker which means a person that performs the duties of collecting garbage and removing proper disposal from dumps or landfills. What about a Gigolo that means a man paid or financially supported by an older woman to be her escort or lover ( I know I stretched that one but anyone that knows me, realizes that this is one of my words that I use a lot). And lastly what about mother, father, sister, brother, minister, musician, athlete, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, and as you see the list can continue. It's easy to label a person but if you are that person, what do you want to be called? I have had a few nicknames such as son, dad, cousin, brother, red, gramps, Allewishes, 3Wishes, Hub, Hub Diddy, P-Way Pimp, Ant, and others that have been lost in translation but the one that is used most often to identify me is Ma'ranthony. A name that was given to me by my Aunt Linda, “Lord rest her soul”, as she was told this name by a lady that was in the hospital who had a baby that had just passed away. In honor of that young soul that didn't have a chance to be a mark in this world, I was given that name, to not only live his legacy but to give a voice that he never had.
Have you ever wondered how you got those names? Could it be the actions, the looks, or the attitude that you took on at the times when those individuals gave you those names? For me I had red hair when I was a young boy and while I was a Career Counselor in the Navy, I wanted to ensure my Sailors aboard the ship knew where I was and could find me at all times so I stayed in the P-Ways "hallways of the ship" to ensure they could find me. Each of those names describes an aspect of who I am. But to anyone that knows me outside of those names, knows that I am so much more or at least I hope so.
I feel that there are so many other names that I would like to be called such as counselor, motivator, or one that provided understanding, wisdom, and peace to anyone that sought me out when they were sad, lonely, stressed, or angry. To me those are the ultimate nicknames to have.
I have had Sailor after Sailor reach out to me and tell me how much my leadership meant to them and my encouraging words and actions inspired them. Although those words mean a lot to me, I usually ask them to put those words into action by paying it forward and mentoring and guiding not like I did but better. What names or titles have you given yourself or others given to you? Do you think the ones that were given to you, describe the real you or a façade of what you want others to see? Which names or titles do you prefer and why? How can you build upon your legacy for namesake and be a name that you would like to be known or remembered as? #SPEAK2MYHEART