What’s in a name?

Posted: October 29, 2012 by Ankur in Contest, Writes...
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Stranger: “what’s in a name?”
Me: “excuse me”
“A great man once said, what’s in a name?”
“yeah, Shakespeare.”
“Yeah, that guy. But how does that matter. Great words, I must say.”
“Indeed, but well don’t you wonder how people know it was he who said those words?”
“He probably wrote his name or signed underneath it.”
“So it implies, he wrote these words with his mind. Had he written them with their heart, he would have actually believed in them and wouldn’t have given a rat’s ass for writing his name there.”
“So you think Shakespeare did all this for fame?”
“Not at all sir, all I think is that, someone wanted to give world this message, but no one would listen, so he wrote Shakespeare under it. You know, how we are attracted to brand names. You would agree with me on that. In the world of literature, Shakespeare was quiet a brand name. There is nothing wrong in being famous I guess. If you are worth, and if you deserve it, well then go right ahead, enjoy it. But you cant enforce yourself upon someone right? I don’t think its about enforcing yourself upon someone as it is being accepted by that someone. 
I spent my whole life, or how much so ever I have lived so far, hoping there is lots of it left. Anyways, as I was saying I spent most of my life trying to fit in and be accepted by people. Why is it so important? The old adage goes that the people who are genuine in this world are the ones that accept you no matter what your ‘flaws’ or personality quirks are. So apparently they should be the ones that matter. They why? Why do I, or for a matter of fact, most of the people around try to be accepted by people who won’t accept them!?

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that they are scared of being forgotten. The number of blog hits and the status update likes determine the level of acceptance for them. I think the fear is deeply rooted. Our ancestors, the older, long gone ones, whenever committed a crime or did something wrong or did not live up to the expectations (today: standards) of their group, they became an outcast, and died. Alone. 

It is the pressure to become known in these over-crowded times that humility and ‘what’s in a name’ phrases have lost their charm, my friend. You know, from where I come, there are over a billion people. It not easy to be an individual in a crowd of a billion people. Hell, it is even tough being a zero in that billion digits itself. Think about it. A BILLION Freaking people. Putting in some math, even if you were a one-in-a-million kind of a guy, there would still be thousands just like you. You forget humility in such times, right? 

But, then it is true. World has been changed by the people who dint care about acceptance or humility. They went out there and did there world. They gained or lost humility after they achieved what they were supposed is of no concern to us. We often confuse humbleness with being inferior. Humility to me is the understanding of suffering. Thomas Merton once mentioned, ‘In humility is the greatest freedom. As long as you have to defend the imaginary self that you think is important, you lose you piece of heart. As soon as you compare that shadow with the shadows of other people, you lose all joy, because you have begun to trade in unrealistic and there is no joy in things that do not exist.’ 

Whenever you feel like a genius, remember there was a time when you were trying to learn how to not shit in your pants. 
We come nearest to being great when we become humble. And when we become aware about our humility, we have lost it.”

“wow, that’s a lot of words. Great words. But yeah, a lot of words.”
“Yeah, someone called Nilay wrote them.”
“Why would I care?”
“He would sure hope you did. He hasn’t learned all the life lessons I guess. So, he is still averse to humility.”
“Whatever. And what’s your name?”
“Doesn’t matter.”
“And why is that?”
“What’s in a name? Ciao.”

Nilay Parikh

VIT University

TOPIC: What I learnt in those 5 min

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