I have two questions for you, but first, a third to ask that you take them seriously.
Okay, students, let’s begin.
Imagine you’re sitting in a café and out of nowhere, for no specific reason, someone random walks up to you and asks that you tell them something.
Anything; about yourself.
What part of you is so important that you think they should know?
Raise of hands? No one? Come on now, there are no wrong answers. This is simply me asking you what you find most important about yourself.
“My name.” a student says aloud.
Your name? What is so important about your name?
“Well, it’s the one thing that separates me from everyone else. I could tell her I’m a musician, which would be true, but on one hand, there could be many musicians in the room and therefore, I’d be labeled the same and they would never know the difference.”
But then if all you said was your name, how would they know you’re a musician?
“That’s the thing about my name, professor, it implies that I’m more than just a musician; I’m various nouns. You see, by telling her I’m a musician, I’m telling her music consumes me, and although it does, it does not consume all of me.”
Oh? And what else consumes you?
“Love, professor. Love consumes me. Love for my education, for my family, for my life. Just as well for my music.”
So above all else, you think your name is the most significant part of you?
“Well, I like to see my name as an open door to opportunity.”
And what is your name?
Hmm… reminds me of another man named William, but this William thought differently. He questioned names as names of things do not affect what they really are. He was quite the famous writer, surely some of you must know of him, one of his famous lines is,
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
Sure, you could argue that it was just another line in one of Shakespeare’s scripts but what that line implies provokes deeper meaning, wouldn’t you concur?
“So much for no wrong answers…”
Settle down class, I’m asking you to think deeper than the surface.
Now William, would you still say the most significant part of you is your name?”
“I would, professor. I would because I don’t see names the same way Shakespeare does. Just because we share something, doesn’t mean we share everything.”
That’s it! That’s the answer to my second question. Well done William.
“Wait, what was the second question?” a student inquired while others murmured in equal curiosity behind her.
Sure, now you guys want to participate.
My second question was, do you let the opinions of others shape those of your own?
A majority of us are guilty of this; we let the social norm dictate our thoughts because being an outlier is intimidating and how many of you like standing alone anyway?
Not even when it counts?
It’s human nature, it’s normal. But at what cost?
Think about it. We will reconvene next week.
Good day students.