Name-calling. It happens early. Mothers tend to freak out the first time they hear their precious little angel engaging in “nasty” name-calling. “Stinky poo poo head” is not something mothers want their precious little angel’s to be known for. Or by.
But mothers are also desperate for their precious little angel’s first word to be calling their name. Some will spend hours just inches away from their precious little angel’s face mindlessly repeating “mumma mummy mum mum mum mum mum”.
And be heartbroken when their precious little angel’s first word is so effortlessly “Dad”.
When I was younger my brothers would often call me names. Mum used to teach me to respond with “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.” Mum might have been pleased. But my brothers were disappointed.
Mum’s precious little angels could have entire conversations consisting only of name-calling. And they weren’t precious enough to keep it to just profound character assassination. It would cover the whole gamut of physical, mental and social assassination too.
Andrew: “Acne head.”
Philip: “Butt for brains.”
Andrew: “Babe repellent”.
Was there any point to spending hours challenging each other to ever more appalling name-calling?
Yes, name-calling is important.
The first job that God gave to Adam, even before He’d created Eve, was to be a name-caller.
He’d given names to animals before he’d given names to humans. So many couples buy a puppy before they have a baby. Why a puppy and not a fully grown pooch? Well, admittedly they’re usually cuter. But also, they want to be the ones who give the pooch their name. Adam had named crocodiles and sharks and eagles and dogs before he’d given his own name to his love, his own flesh.
Naming our own generation of flesh and blood is not just instinctual, it’s also traditional (some cultures have a lot of rituals and ceremonies around baby naming), and legal. You can’t not name your baby. It’s legally compulsory.
Your name is usually the first bit of “data” about your life. And one of the most enduring. You may not weigh 7 pounds for very long, but your name will probably do the full journey of life with you. I find it interesting the names that people give themselves when they choose a business name, a domain name, an email address, a facebook account or a hashtag.
God was a big name-caller too. He messed with Abram’s name and Jacob’s name amoungst others.
Jesus got in on the act changing Simon’s name to Peter. Saul the Persecutor became Paul the Preacher.
It’s not just important what your parents call your name. It’s not just important what God calls your name.
It’s important what you call your name. Name-calling gives you identity. And out of identity flows so much of life.
When circumstances change, do you change what you call yourself? You shouldn’t. Your name should be as enduring as rock.
When things go wrong, don’t curse. Call yourself “Blessed”. Even if you failed at your latest project, or your business isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like, call yourself a Success.
Call the end, from the beginning. Like a puppy let loose from it’s lead, calling it, is literally how you make it come to you.
What are you calling yourself today? Summon some success from within you by calling yourself competent, wise, healthy, respected, talented, fruitful, attractive, active, effective and productive.
Don’t wait until your bank account looks the way you want to, call your bank account the way you want it to look. #WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire
I don’t mean to remind you how far out of your league I am. But I think it’s important you remember that.
After all, I’m a millionaire … and you’re a stinky poo poo head 😉
Besides name-calling is more fun than sticks and stones. So feel free to leave a comment with your favourite name-calling.