Why are we so obsessed with naming things?
When we are children, we are given names. My name is Nabil. In fact, my government name is Nabil Chems Eddine, but I was called Nabil all my life, and I thought Chems Eddine was my middle name. For 18 years, I thought my name is Chems Eddine Nabil, it makes sense, since I’m called Nabil, Chems Eddine is my not-so-important middle name. But actually, my full name is Nabil-Chems-Eddine, but because Nabil is the shorter version (And my favorite part), people called me Nabil all my life, I rarely thought about the rest of it, I would say I even forgot I had the rest of that name. In a real sense, I was lied to all my life, the name I should’ve been called was Chems-Eddine, because Nabil is apparently my not-so-important middle name. People called me by my middle name all my life, and I thought that was my name. It seems so fundamental that we own a name for ourselves, but the name we have is given to us by others, just to label us and put us in perspective among others. When we are at school and the teacher is calling our names, we are nervous to hear our names and say “present,” we see ourselves as main characters in our story, but the names, what we call ourselves, is a way to put us in relation to other people who have different names. Our names are another example of how we are not individuals, after all, we are deeply connected in our society, we are part of a more important whole, but these identities that we think are ours and are ourselves, are actually made by peers. When we find someone with the same name as us, and they are part of the same friend group, it can shake us, but we naturally find ways around it like nicknames or, humorously, numbers. We didn’t give ourselves our names, but we identify with it, we are it, we understand that we are it, even if it is made by others for the use of others. And one must wonder, what other things that define us so strongly are only a use for others to organize us. What about gender? Our age? Our degree? Our class/money? Our personalities? Etc.