From Rumplestiltskin to Doctor Who, we know that names have power. But too often in this fast-paced world, we often take people’s names for granted. The grocery store cashier, the guy at the newsstand, the cleaners at your office – we know they’re there. We nod, sometimes we smile. But how many of us know their names?? How many of us connect with other people on a really human level?
This Coca-Cola advertisement from the Philippines will tug at your heartstrings. It’s all about sharing a Coke and the power of knowing someone’s name. It is about acknowledging the people around us. It is about saying THANK YOU.
Like many Filipinos, I have many nicknames – I have the name used by my family, the name my grade school classmates know me by and the name I ended up using in college and after. To my younger siblings and cousins, I am “Ate” (Big Sister), to my nieces and nephews, I am “Tita” (Aunt) and to my former students, I am “Ms. Santos.” Here in America, I am known as Marcie though legally I am “Louise.” which really confuses people when I have to present identification. But that’s another story. The point is: my various names are all a part of me. They represent different aspects of me and different times of my life.
Maybe things would be simpler if my parents just called me Maria or something. But that’s not what happened, they named me after my grandparents – my paternal grandfather, my maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother. Yes, I have three given names. I like all my three names although I hardly use them in daily life, just on official documents.
A rose is a rose by any other name. But I’m not so sure. Sometimes I think your name can either make your or break you. Your name has power.
Calling other people by their names is powerful too. It is an acknowledgement of their existence. When you say someone’s name, you are saying, I see you (insert name here), you MATTER.
PS. I don’t drink Coca-Cola or any soda, for that matter.