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What's in a name?

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April 01, 2022 | NATIONAL Didymus McHugh, Correspondent

We have so many names that we go by and each name talks about the level of familiarity that we and/or the other people feel or the job that we are working. Sompeople only want to be addressed in the formal Mr. or Mrs. With families that are around the military, the south or stick households, you will hear ma'am or sir.

In hospitals, patients are usually referred to by room number or by diagnosis, but the medical field is moving away from that. I will admit that I am still uncomfortable with a doctor calling me young man, especially when I am older than the doctor.

Those in certain fields are addressed by the position. Law enforcement may be addressed by officer, sheriff, trooper, agent, etc. In faith communities, it can be father, monsignor, minister, pastor, rabbi, brother, bishop, reverend, chaplain, or whatever else.

There are some people that refuse to be familiar with anyone. I have worked some people who only go by their title or their last name. They never go by their first name. Do you think that they are afraid of getting close to anyone?

I grew up around the fire house and it was different there. The crew that knew me, since I was small, called me by what they called me when I was little but those who did not know me that well did not call me that.

In emergency services, we have seen Robert being called Robert but to people more familiar, it might be Rob, Robbie, Bob, or Bobby depending. Stanley may be Stan or Stosh.

We may get referred to by rank. We call the lieutenant Lou or Lt. Captain becomes Cap and once you become Chief you may always be referred to as chief. Many times if you are without rank, it might be like the military and referred to by your last name.

In emergency services, you may be you line or equipment number, or radio designation. When I was lieutenant of a Haz-Mat team, we were referred to be our radio identity. Some ham radio operators may do the same thing.

With the government, you are your social security number. In the family, you may be referred to as Mommy, Daddy, aunt, uncle or your family's designation for those.

Sometimes we use designations to keep things impersonal. There are people who have had experiences of crisis or trauma who do not use names because if they use names that might be enough to trigger the feelings all over again.

When I was interviewing people to work with me in one organization, many people wanted to be referred to by their title and I would not bring them into the organization. They were not humble enough to be called by name. I saw that they were not there to do the work but to build a resume. I always look for people that want to do the work and do not care about the recognition.

Do you realize that God and Jesus are referred to by many names? Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, Son of God, King of Kings or so many other names. His last name is not Christ. He is Jesus the Christ. God is referred too in so many ways also. One of His names is Abba, which means Daddy. Does that bring it to a different level of intimacy?

What name do you go by? How are you identified? What is the one that you really like being called?

Stay safe,

Didymus McHugh

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Didymus McHughCorrespondent

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