As I have been listening for it, I’ve found it fascinating that most every older person I meet and ask their name, they begin with the last name, then move onto their first names. An example goes something like this:
“What’s your name?”
“Martin… Jim and Cheryl Martin.”
The last name, the surname, is a family name. And though it’s required to have both a personal name and a family name, most people introduce themselves with their personal name first.
To identify with the last name first, automatically puts you into a place of humility. You’re part of the family – good or bad. You understand that you are part of something bigger. You carry the weight of the name.
We all carry with us our family name and heritage. There is a story that goes with every single one. I have a few questions about this observation:
1. Is there more of a connection to family and heritage as a person ages?
2. Does introducing oneself by the last name create more of a belonging and accountability to family?
3. Will the younger generation begin to do this as they get older?
4. Does it have to do with location – rural life vs metro living?
5. Does it change who you are if you think about the fact that your last name is just as important if not more?
6. How would we live differently if we knew our last names carried weight for us and for future generations?
What are you thoughts?
A good name is more desirable than great riches;
to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.