The role of parent necessitates the making of many momentous decisions for a beloved person who does not yet have the capability to choose for his or herself. Parenthood is perhaps the most blessed and joyous responsibility of all, as it is fuelled by love and hope for all that may be possible in the future. As parents, we try to give our children the very best of everything, from food and clothing, to education and other opportunities that might expand the worldview of those we love best. But some would argue that the gifts we give our children begin in a way that is at once both smaller and larger, a way that is both subtle and far-reaching. One of the first gifts we give our child is the name we bequeath to them.
Children learn very early to associate their given name with themselves. It is how their parents address them, how they learn to distinguish themselves from others as they proceed into the world. The name we bestow upon our newborn baby is so much more than a collection of alphabet characters – it becomes representative of everything we are.
A baby’s name is a combination of letters and sounds that join together to create the single word we will use to evoke all that we hope our child will become. We have all had the experience of enjoying certain words more than others, of finding that certain sounds resound harshly in our ears. Language is the dividing line between our animal counterparts and ourselves, and is a powerful tool, and so it is important to bear in mind when choosing a name for your baby.
We also invest names with individual meanings, we personalise them to our own situation. They can remind us of relatives or friends, and the characteristics that these loved ones displayed. They can have unconscious or inexplicable connotations, and speak to us positively or negatively with the echo of old associations long since pushed from our awareness.
A child’s name should be chosen with great care. A name should be a thing of empowerment, as it carries within the precious burden of identity. A child’s experience of his or her name comes largely from parental suggestion, so be sure to choose a name for your baby that is filled with characteristics you admire. Whether or not you believe in such things as numerology or the Kabalarian philosophy, your child’s name will undoubtedly be a force in their life. Think deeply, and choose well.