GOB!G Quote of the Day

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What's the meaning of your name?

The historical meaning of my name, Israel, means the one who rules with God and the dictionary meaning goes thus: "From the Hebrew name (Yisra'el) meaning "God contended". In the Old Testament Israel (who was formerly named Jacob; see Genesis 32:28) wrestled with an angel. The ancient and modern states of Israel took their names from him."

I like that. It carries a lot of weight and internal mystical power. I like the sound of that and the metaphors conjured up by this meaning. It speaks, to me, of great responsibility and a purpose beyond myself. A cause that is bigger than personal. A love that extents to many that may not even know. As part of my clean-sweeping my life so I can focus my energies better, I decided to re-look at my name and its meaning. And if I can, live up to it.

In Setswana, they say ‘leina le ya borellong”. Which, essentially, is to say that we live up to our names. And I find that, in random, to be true that the name maketh the man.
Our names silently craft us before we even start on our journey of life. And empirical research done for an academic paper by Roland G. Dyer Jr at Harvard University proved this too whilst going a mile further to state that our names can set us for failure. And that names with bad meaning can motivate us to prove the opposite.

I’m happy with the meaning of Israel. But with the re-focusing my life plan on, I feel that I’ve been shortliving that a lot – by more than 100%. Not getting close to ruling with God. As in being great and achieving big things whilst sharing the love and spreading the peace-virus. And now that I’ve revisited the meaning, I intent to make attempts to live up to it with tenacity. I view this as a window of opportunity to make better of me and my ways once more – and rub that off whoever I come across.

So, what about you. When last did you check on the meaning of your name. What does it stand for. What are its metaphors. Does it hold you to some responsibility. Does it carry some call to greatness or silently command you to act in a certain noble manner and to achieve big things?

Perhaps yours speaks of kindness, nobility, charisma, inspirator, leader, energizer, partner, commitment, dedication, achiever or leader. But whatever the meaning, isn’t today that day when you just decided, how about for the rest of this day and tomorrow I try and live out my name? I bet it is. I’m a little late, but am going to start yesterday.

Think of the following names and be inspired at what their call is and how they really live up to them knowingly and perhaps, unbeknownst to them:

Nelson Mandela – Greatness, larger than life and a leader with compassion (add to that personal sacrifice, courage and humanitarianism)
Martin Luther King Jr - Unselfish leadership with no credit expected. Humbling humility and inspiring speaker.
Tiger Woods - Panache and flair in what one does. Tiger swings mastery one notch higher.
Oprah Wimfrey - synonymous with compassion, dreamweaver (who makes them come true as well) and friend of the world.
Desmond Tutu (Archbishop) - Absolute love and forginess through understanding.
Mahatma Gandhi - Harmony and peaceful approach.
Steve Biko - Liberation of the mind
Franklin D Roosevelt - In short, it means 'freeman' and he did live up to that with the compassion to free American people out of poverty brought by the American depression.
Mark Shuttleworth - synonymous with big character, big dreams and onslaught on such dreams
Donald Gordon - ruler of the world. Donald Gordon's achievement changed the insurance landscape in South Africa and truly rule in that field
Raymond Ackerman - advicer and protector.

- JDI (Just Do It), a brand that says why not?
Apple - Simplicty, elegance, beauty, different and non-conformist
Google - Big on everything. Serving the world on a platter and fingertips. Entrepreneurial.
Virgin - All rounding michiavelli and extreme risk appetite. New at everything but bold at it too.
Louis Vuitton - Exceptional class and taste with perfection achieved. Separating the owner from the rest.
Rolex - Exclusivity and high quality. A total rarity.
Dubai – A melting pot of big ‘impossible’ dreams meeting big believers who innovate and make dreams a reality. Think of the first hotel in a man made island.
Zimbabwe (dzim dze mabwe) – Meaning houses of mud. And ironically, Robert Mugabe is working hard to make sure that such an imagery is achieved.
New York - A city that never sleeps. Why? Because dreams and time wait for no man and you'll have all the sleep when you're dead.
Hollywood – Global fame/plastic surgery/early sell-by date and stardom.

Again, what's in your name?

"Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire


MissK said...

Hey Izz, have been having busy days at work and at home this week. Time to blog seems to have flown away again :( and i have so much i wanted to put down in the past couple of days... *sigh*

anyhoo, your blogs is one of those i enjoy reading and, this is weird, but you seem to discuss topics that are running heavy on my mind. For instance, the servicing one's relationship post. The preservation one is still so fresh on my mind but will blog about all this later.

Back to the current topic. My name: Nolukhanyo. It's Xhosa and if you pronounce it a bit differently to directly translate it to English it means 'And this light'. i love it. i love my name. My parents told me they gave it to me for a reason. All of our names at home were well thought out so i've always i appreciated it for that reason.
i was a couple of weeks premature i'm told - skinny as a twig i was. My poor health brought my mom so much heartache... but by the grace of the Almighty i lived. I am my parent's light see. :)
i'd like to think i live according to my name. i agree, certainly our names shape us. i've witnessed myself being people's light. The one thing that always brings me the most joy is my parents being proud of me. in essence, that's what drives me in life. Making the folks proud and continuing being their light...

that's it for MissK for now. am off to shine.

Ishtar said...

Ishtar is Esther africanized; at least that's how my neighbor kids pronounce it. Although I've been Istar, Istr, Istarr and a few other variants. Back to my name; I love it. Esther was a brave woman who did something courageous for her people. My mom is always telling me how she believes I will do something "very brave" one day. Not surprisingly, since there are so very few things in life that scare me (unfortunately, in some cases) - but that would also make the action less amazing.

I fell for a statement by an clever author whose name I forgotten, but I will always remember what he said:

To be brave is to behave
Bravely when your heart is faint. So you can be really brave,
Only when you really ain't.

I love that poem. And like my namesake, I hope I will one day do something brave for others even though "my heart is faint".

Thanks for your post, Izz. It made me think about something I hadn't thought of for quite a while.


Izz said...

Beautiful name Nolukhanyo, and keep shining that bright beaming light wherever you go and enter. Am sure you leave places and people better with your light.

Ishtar, I had figured earlier last week on discovering your blog what your name is and that it's also a cute mispronounciation. To me, it's equal to and sound like: STAR. Nice. I'm jealous.

pamelastitch said...

pamela means sweet as honey.....


Izz said...

Simple and beautiful. I like that.