According to Gertrude Stein, "A rose is a rose is a rose." Shakespeare's young Juliet tells Romeo that he is not an evil Montague, but asks "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." What IS in a name? Most parents spend nine months searching out the perfect name for their children. Why? Because going through life with the wrong name (or more to the point, a silly name), can be difficult at best and devastating at worst. Consider the song "A Boy Named Sue" sung by Johnny Cash. How'd you like to go through life trying to explain that one?! What's in a name? Who people think we are, that's what! A person's name communicates something to others. If you don't believe me try this on for size. What would you expect when introduced to the following people: * Maximilian Bartholomew Wentworth III * Billy Joe Bob Baker * Maria Molina Pilar Martinez Lopez Why am I telling you this? Well the other day I spotted an internet article from MSNBC. We all know various celebrities who gave their children some pretty weird names, Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa among them. However, it reports that celebrities aren't the only ones these days. How'd you like to answer to Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer? She says she is a strong woman having gone through childhood and a career with this name. Marijuana Pepsi is a college counselor. Now if you got away scott free (or Mary Freemont), you should know that people aren't the only ones whose names can be a challenge! My daughter found some pretty odd sounding sports team names that just didn't communicate they were going to be tough competition. Here are just a few: * UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs * Cairo Syrupmakers * Mt Clemons Battling Bathers * Scottsdale Community College Fighting Artichokes And I have to close with this family story. When my niece was about 4 years old, she found out that a woman changed her name when she got married. She said, "But what if I marry a man named Snotsickle!" Like it or not names communicate something to others whether good or bad. Though the Lord knows who we are in our hearts, the world will form opinions of us by what we call ourselves that can either help us or create a hurdle for us to overcome. Food for thought from the folks at Art of Elephants Art of Eloquence.com!