Names Are Humanity

Our names are special to us. We truly enjoy to hear others utter them. Names create a connection that moves beyond the mundane, the everyday transactions of life.

around-the-fountainLast week, I went skiing with my teenage son. All the people working at the ski resort wore name tags: the ticket booth personnel, the instructors, the ski patrol, the lift operators. I decided to address each of them by their names which, not surprisingly, always engendered a small conversation, and many times, some unsolicited revelations about the ski resort.

Names elevate any conversation, any interaction: from your close friends to the tech support person; from the ski lift operator to the grocery store cashier.

two-italian-menNames are humanity. Abbie, Tyler, Alita, Torin, Kevin, Tommy, Gary, Tom, Jem, Anne, Ann, Martha, Suzanne, Bill, Bob, Chris, Jeff, Cathy, Michael, David, Rob, Steph, Patti, Sean, Matt, Cyndy, Alice, Bonnie, Becky, Becca, Katrina, Kristin, Peter, Karl, Jasmine, Ione, Gina, Evelina, Charlie, Henry, Eric, Molly, Chino, Paul, Carolyn, Jean, Gene, Geoff, Fred, Olga, Connie, Irene, Max, Sharon, Ted, Shelley, Rachel, Tony, Rose, Jenny, John, Rick, Wendy, Mark, Diane, Scott, Priscilla, Joe, Barbara, Pam, Sally, Marie, Jay, Mary, Pilar, Andrew, Kathy, Laura, Duane, Dan, Keith, Stephen, Maria, Dorothy.

Did you look to see if I included your name? Most likely you did. Sorry if I didn’t list it.

So I use names, as much as I can. Names are humanity.

–Rich Maggiani

4 Comments, RSS

  1. whistler ski instructor 29 April 2009 @ 8:03 am

    whistler ski instructor…

    Very informative. I enjoyed reading this! :-)…

  2. Eddie 8 June 2009 @ 4:23 pm

    Hi, Rich:

    A friend of mine loves to start conversations with strangers who are wearing name badges. She is very outgoing and has a melodious, projecting voice. She always turns heads when, in the checkout line of a grocery store, she notes the cashier’s name tag and says “well, hello {name}, how are YOU today?” The cashier might seem timid and cautious at first but soon becomes more relaxed and friendly. The effect is interesting to watch. I have taken a cue from my friend and have tried the technique, too.

    The text of some of the most powerful music I have ever heard is simply uttered names. A local DC vocal group sings a song that simply names those who were lost during the Pinochet regime. It’s quite powerful.

    I’m enjoying your blog and have attended a couple of your conference presentations. Thank you for your significant contributions to our community.

    Best to you,

  3. Rich Maggiani 9 June 2009 @ 8:14 am

    Dear Eddie,
    Truly, thanks for your comment. I do appreciate it. And I’m happy to know you are reading, and enjoying!


  4. Marcia Johnston 9 May 2010 @ 2:47 pm

    Good reminder, RICH.

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