What’s in a name?

It is known that names can hold power. Names of people, names of places, names of things. This idea of naming children to give them strength and other attributes associated with that name also applies to concepts and ideas. Since humans first learned language we have been naming everything that is important to us. Naming something gives it an identity and defines what it is. And in a world of ever increasing social complexity, definition means more to us than ever.

When we create a name for an idea, when we define and explain a concept, we breathe life into that intangible thought form that other people can understand and get to know. But there are some ideas that frighten people because they challenge everything those people believe about the world. When we give those ideas names, people will resist learning about them, resist even acknowledging they were named, because they are afraid.

What do people do with things they are afraid of? First, they might try to run from them. That is how we are as mortal creatures. But we cannot run away from everything that frightens us. So what is left for us to do? If we cannot run from those ideas we must fight them, yes? Defeat them? How can we do that? by taking away their power- by taking away their names. The things that we fear existed long before we had names for them. Those ideas were always there, but we changed the power they had over us when we gave them names.

We cannot destroy an idea. But we can learn to understand it. We can learn to transform whatever power it holds. We can learn to transform ourselves. There is power in names. In both the giving and the taking.

Image from Canva stock images.