Why do we hold others responsible for our own happiness, yet expect no responsibility for our actions?
If you have read one of my earlier posts entitled “Tu Morrow“, you would know how serious I am about (baby) names. (If you have not read that post, I highly recommend that you do. Please feel free to share your comments there, too.) The purpose of this post is not to re-state what I already said in my earlier post, but to talk about responsibility and the assignment of blame.
First thing is first, let me tell you what brought on these thoughts. As per usual, I was browsing through the news pages as I needed a break from work a few days ago, when I sighed. Yet another article about someone complaining about the airlines. (For some of my previous posts regarding airplane related complaints, please see here and here.) The title basically said that a mother was upset, because an airline employee mocked her daughter’s name. I was hooked. I just HAD TO know what that name was. To my utter surprise, I found out that the kid’s name is Abcde. No, this is NOT a joke. Supposedly, the name is pronounced “Ab-city” (as if it is any better), which makes me wonder if maybe the word “zebra” should really be pronounced “lion”. Who knows, right? (Would you not prefer to pronounce it Ab-CD?)
When I discovered what the girl’s name was, I could not stop shaking my head. Who in their right mind would name their child THAT? Well, apparently, more people than you would think. As of right now, there seem to be AT LEAST 373 women names Abcde in the U.S. The first Abcde was born in the year of 1990. However, 2009 was the year in which that name was the most popular – 32 babies were named that. We cannot be exactly sure how many people with that name exist in this country, because the Social Security Administration only issues a list of names that occur at least 5 times in a given year. There were some years in which Abcde was not reported, but that does not mean that no kids were born with this name. It just means that the number of kids with that name was fewer than 5. That is also the reason why we cannot be sure that there are no boys with that name. It is possible that there are a couple, but not enough to be reported (less than 5 per year). For one reason, or another, it seems that the name originated in Hawaii, since the first five births with that name were recorded there.
What happened at the airport – you ask?
In no way am I defending the actions of the flight attendant, because I do think she went too far. Aside from giggling and pointing out the name to her co – workers, she also posted a photo of that girl’s boarding pass on Facebook. (If you have read some of my posts, like this one, you would know to be careful with what you post on your social media platforms.) How is it that people are still silly enough to post things to Facebook that can get them in trouble? To me, posting a picture of a boarding pass is a breach of privacy, and that definitely is something for which I condemn that airline employee. Sure, I will also admit that it was not tactful of that flight attendant to laugh and poke fun at the girl’s expense within earshot from Abcde and her mother.
Would I be entertained by such name? Yes, I would.
There are certain names that are banned, and it is done so for a reason. I am surprised that Abcde is not one of them. It is not creative. It is plain lazy. It might be amusing for the parent to name their kid something “special”, but it might not be equally as fun for the kid.
Did you know that someone actually named their son “John”, with their last name “Doe”? How amusing, right? Wrong. John/ Jane Doe is used for deceased people who have not been identified. Whenever this guy is asked what his name is, and replies: “John Doe”, he is met with extra scrutiny, as people want the “real” name. If you worked in the Human Resource department and you saw an application with the name “Abcde” on it, would you not think that it was an error? Would you take it seriously? Or would you think that it is a joke, and dismiss it? These are just few of the MANY obstacles some people have to face because of their names.
Having said that the airline worker crossed a few lines she should not have had, I would like to circle back to the mother. Why is it that the mother is shocked that people are making fun of her daughter? Did she not think that would happen when she was choosing the name? I mean, c’mon! As adults, we should look at what lays ahead, not just what is here and now. We should be able to predict at least some aspects of the future. One of the news sites reported that the little girl asked her mother why she was being laughed at, which means that the kid was not aware that her name was “special”. It was the mother’s right to name her kid “Abcde”, but if she was doing so, she should have been aware of all the negative things that will come with it. If I was her, and decided to go with that name (Never!), I would own it. I would make sure it would not bother me, but more importantly, I would make sure that it did not bother my kid. As early on as possible, I would have told her what her name meant and why I chose it (maybe there is some sweet, secret meaning behind it). Moreover, I would warn her that people will make fun of her, but to not pay attention. The thing is that someone, somewhere is BOUND TO joke about her name at some point, and she should be prepared. There needs to be a lot of talking, explaining, and self – confidence boosting involved, if one wants their kid to have such a name, and not be traumatized. Of course, once the child becomes of legal age, they can change their name if they so wish.
In today’s world we are so focused on what other people do wrong that we forget that WE are responsible for some of those things. If you do not want your kid to be made fun of, do not give them weird names.
If she could not take the time to come up with a better name for her kid than Abcde, then all her passwords must be “password”.
Is Abcde a cool name?
If you were that flight attendant, would you be amused by the name on the boarding pass?
Do you often times point fingers at others before taking a closer look at yourself first?
Do you believe that we can make everyone sensitive to everything to a point where there will not be any ridiculing, or bullying in the world?
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