Everyone has one, your parents gave it to you shortly after you were born.
We name our pets, and some of us even name our cars.
Most of us are happy with the name that was given us at birth.
Some are unhappy and have them legally changed so they can go through life feeling better about themselves.
What happens when someone mispronounces your name?
Do you correct them and go on from there?
What do you do when they keep doing it? Even after you and your parents correct them many, many times.
Do you give up and accept the way they pronounce your name?
And if you do, what effects does it have on your life?
I gave up after a year of my name being mispronounced?
Does that make me weak or just frustrated at those around me who would not respect my rights to be called by my given name.
It did not make me weak, it just put distance between me and everyone around me.
For fifty years I have lived with that distance, and have been careful to let some people get close to me.
This was brought back to me this morning after reading this article, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/05/22/what-has-changed-is-that-it-is-harder-for-us-to-be-nice-to-kids-departing-veteran-principal/
For the first eight years of my life, living in Kansas and Arkansas, this was not a problem in my life.
Those that I met were more than happy to call me by my given name.
Then my father and mother relocated to find better paying jobs and better living conditions.
That was when the problem began for me.
Third grade in a new state and city. New people, not so new subjects to study in school.
The curriculum in this new school was two years behind the schools that I had left.
Even though I knew all the curriculum that was being taught, they would not advance me to the next grade.
But they would mispronounce my name on a daily basis, even though we corrected them every day.
In time we grew tired of correcting them, and I started on my journey of being called by the wrong name.
Do I remember the name of my third grade teacher? The answer is no. Why should I show respect for you when you have none for me?
The next year in school found me being sent to the principals office and into therapy with someone the school sent in because I painted my pencil black with a felt pen.
From then on my school years went downhill fast. And my name was still mispronounced by those around me.
College was fine because I did not have to interact with most of my teachers and they did not care if I did well at school or not.
Fifty years later most everyone but my family still does not know how to pronounce my name.
When I hear someone say my name the correct way, I smile on the inside and feel like I have gone home again.
There are two ways to pronounce Kevin. The first way is how most say it Kev-in.
The second way is Key-vin.
So in closing, when I read this article about teachers and administrators being kind to students.
It raised long bad memories of my time in a school system that could not even respect a students right to have their name pronounced properly.
I know there are good school systems out there, because I had the honor to go to one for two years, before I was subjected to the Hell I had to deal with for the next ten years.
I hope your experiences were less trying in school, and that you had teachers that you respect even to this day.
I still raise my voice about the teaching in the local school system. Maybe not in the right places, but the voices need to be heard.
There are cousins, sister in laws, friends that work in the local school system these days, I hope that they show the kids that they come in contact with more respect than that which most of my family has been afforded in these schools.
My rant hopefully is done for the day. Raining here and chores need to be done outside. Hope everyone has a wonderful day. I do not hold a grudge against those who disrespected me, I spread the Love of the Lord to those that meet me, no matter what they call me. For I know that when I have the great joy of meeting the Lord in Heaven, he will pronounce my name correctly with all the grace that he has.
Romans 12:10 – [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;