What’s In a Name

Jul 1, 2009 by

What’s In a Name

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (the entire speech is below)

I was having a conversations with a very dear friend of my yesterday, and we were talking about “what’s your question” and “what’s your story” (future blog coming on that one). And it got me thinking, that in order to have a story, in order to have a question, there are some underlying labels that we put on ourselves. Practical labels like:

Worker Bee
Boyfriend – girlfriend

And descriptive labels like:

Bad at math

Of course we all have these labels. I work for someone, I’m someones girlfriend, I’m someones boss, I’m bad at math. But these labels are just that … words that describe what were doing at the moment. Read that again … WHAT WERE DOING AT THE MOMENT. Not who we are. Unfortunately we tend to take these labels and let them start to define WHO we are and not WHAT we’re doing. I know I do that … do you?

And once we label something, and take that labeling into our hearts, it is hard to shake that label off. When the label defines us it takes a huge amount of courage to shake off that definition and change the labeling … or get rid of the attachment to the label altogether. When we say we’re an executive … then it is hard to be of “service to others” since we always HAVE to be in charge. When we say we’re someones boy/girl friend, and it’s in our DNA, then it is hard for us to see that we’re good enough on our own.

So here’s the question: “What labels do you carry with you that you’re using to define WHO you are?” and “Can you switch those labels to define WHAT you’re doing instead”

– (ie. Right now I work as an executive at XYZ, vs., I’m an executive)
– (ie. Right now I have a boyfriend named John Smith, vs., I’m John Smith’s girlfriend)

See you on the wire

— Steven Cardinale
————- Full Speech ———–
Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.’

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