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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: Names

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Names

I popped into my local pub for a pint as I usually do after band practice on a Thursday evening. It's called "The Raj/The Pewter Pot" The Raj being the restaurant started in the pub by the (fairly) new Bangladeshi owner. I know him as Tony, (real nice guy, by the way) however, I noticed a different name (can't remember what it was) on the standard notice on the wall by the bar that's required in the UK by any licensee in the UK. I asked the person behind the bar "Who's that then?"
"Oh that's Tony. That (on the wall) is his real name".

My first thoughts were "Why doesn't he use his real name" but these were immediately followed by thoughts of my own hypocrisy because I actually don't use my own first name!
Now! Before you go asking. I WILL NOT reveal my real first name. I've been known as Martin/Marty for nearly all of my life. Martin is my second Christian name and that's how it is. No argument. My first name (secret!) just feels foreign to me and I don't like it. This all had me thinking that many people don't use the name that was given (and registered) to them at birth. There are reasons for using Martin, but it's another story that I won't go into here.

I kinda felt ashamed at my first reaction to seeing Tony's real name on the pub wall. It was a knee jerk reaction borne out of some sort of Anglo Saxon prejudice that's all too easy to be influenced by over here in the UK. In a broader sense, it's easy to be afraid hostile to a different culture until we become more mature. I see this hostility regularly in young folk around me. As we get older, I guess we come to accept one another more. This acceptance has been even more clearer to me since I have "met" folk on blogging platforms. No matter what culture or creed, I've come to realize that we are all more alike than we care to know. Very often, we have the same dreams and desires. Even on a domestic front, life is much the same. Family life, kids in school, frustrations, work, relationships, and much much more.

I think that if I'd not been a person that has this "different name" anomaly myself. I'd have stood by my first thoughts "Why don't you use your real name? What have you to hide? " Before long, a whole set of preconceived ideas can form in the mind. We start to wonder what sort of conspiracy is afoot. Well maybe that's just me and perhaps others don't think that way at all.

Have you ever experienced something similar?
Have you ever become aware of a prejudice in yourself?
If so, how did it feel for you?

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