The importance of a name

Tonight as I was driving home from dinner, I thought about my first name. My father was the one who gave me the name “Shanta” and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I learned it was an Indian name. Because my father is not alive, I can not ask him what made him choose the name that he did; however, it doesn’t stop me from thinking about why he chose “Shanta”. The name “Shanta” means “peaceful” or “calm”. I definitely know that with my over analyzing and worrying tendencies, I haven’t quite lived up to my name, but as I approach 31, it is something that I intend to pursue with a stronger purpose.

Although I am not a parent, I have had the discussion of the importance of a child’s name with people that hold differing views. Some people name their children after movie stars or other famous people, or even drinks. While others will pick a name that sounds good, or may come from a religious text, so they think it will be ok. However, the bulk of parents that I know have chosen a name because it means something to them or it is a characteristic that they want to impart to their child. For example, my nephew’s middle name is “Noble”. Regardless of the context, people do live up to their names in some regards and it is important that parents are mindful of giving their child a name that means something to them.

As for me, I can only speculate. Maybe it is a trait my father wanted me to have? Maybe he had met someone with that name and liked it? Who knows? Either way, I do know that this “peaceful and calm” one is glad he did.

What is the meaning of your name? Do you feel that you are living up to it? Is it a true reflection of who you are?

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