Quick Rant About Names

The average human born in America has a life expectancy of about 79 years. This means that a child born today will have to spend four fifths of a century responding to the name they are given by their parents at birth (maybe only 18 years if they’re smart enough to get it taken care of quick, before the onset of adulthood.)

Some children’s names make me think that parents are vindictive, revenge-seeking individuals with a sick sense of humor. Maybe the mother didn’t expect birth to be so painful? Perhaps she was caught up in her blinding pain of the moment, and named her kid in that sense of blacked-out rage?

This rant may require some context. I’m currently a digital editorial assistant for a media group with four local radio brands. Recently, I was asked to download photos of children and their pets from an online contest for one of the stations. I had to save them in the uniform format of “Child’s Name, Pet’s Name.”

I would consider myself a moderately open-minded person. I try to come into every situation with total empathy. This task, however, was especially difficult for me because I realized that some of the pets had more human-sounding names than the kids. Take a second to really think about how that makes you feel. It annoyed me more than I thought it would, hence the blog post revolving around the issue.

I realize there are a lot of people in this world, and maybe it’s every parents dream to have a unique child. But wouldn’t it be better if they could establish their uniqueness through their ideas, skills, and talents as they grow and learn, instead of forcing them into the enigmatic role they’re destined to fall into? I am a firm believer in names being self-fulfilling prophecies, and Brydon, Kami, Kashten, or siblings Moorea and Irelan? Those kids’ futures aren’t looking great.

There was a “Cael” in a photo with a dog named Stanley. That kid is going to have an identity crisis by the age of 15, I promise you. Are they named after the nutrient-rich, current health craze? Were they conceived in a Whole Foods? (Too far?) No, but really. Imagine that child, his first day of college in a large lecture hall, the teacher calls out “Kale?” Especially considering the likelihood of at least one Stanley being in that same lecture hall. Stanley probably has a dog back home named Cael.

I’m not a parent, maybe it’s not my place to comment on this, and maybe I’ll end up having kids in ten years and they’ll be named Cava, Kylex, and Macksen (all names from this contest.) Who knows? For now, though, I plan on giving any potential future children a chance in their lives by sticking with something a bit blander.

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