What’s In A Name?
“Good afternoon, class. I am your religion teacher. You can call me Bro. Keith. Pero pag feeling close kayo, Kitoy na lang.“
It’s not the standard introduction for a teacher, but hey, I’m not an Education graduate. But this is how I introduced myself to my third year class in Majada In High School. Then recently, something triggered me to write this reflection. There is something special about names.
Its a mystery how our parents come to choose our names. Lucky for me, I have a single-word, five-letter name, so it wasn’t so difficult during my elementary years writing my name or rushing things during my biology speed exam in high school. Some others are not as lucky, having more names, while others have weird names. Names are truly magical.
We ask our parents how’d they arrive at such a name. Growing up, we never mind at first, but sooner or later, you’ll learn to ask. People call you by that name. Friends tease you by playing with that name. So what’s in a name? Your name supposedly defines who you are as a person.
In Biblical times, I have learned, that names give you power over something. Only someone higher can give names. That’s why Adam was given the chance to name all creation because he is the steward and that’s also why God couldn’t be named, just I AM, because no one’s higher than Him. If we could choose our names at birth, we could have picked one that we really liked and one that would really define us but lucky us, we were powerless before the creativity of our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. Manky Pacquiao (Manny-Jingky) are you there?
Most people know me by my name “Keith”. My friends call me “Kitoy”. But very few know me by a third name. I really hold it sacred and dear to me. Telling it to another person feels like handing over my total person. When I shared my name to another, it feels like a real communion of persons and not just a drive-by getting-to-know-you act.
Hearing that name or remembering being called by that name certainly gives me goosebumps. Only people who truly loved me called me that way. Googling the internet shows I am the only Keith Amodia in the whole world. Googling more, I find that there are also many Keith’s whose nickname is Kitoy. But my sacred name, something secret to a circle of family and very close friends, wakes me from a deep slumber and reminds me of who I am.
How do they call you? And what’s in your name?