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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Does a name matter?

In the two months that I have been working at our family center I have been called many names by the kids and the staff as well. I have made it clear that they are free to call me anything as long as it is respectful. The director is the same age as my oldest son and we have known each other for almost 20 years. We have always used first names. When I first started my job as a supervisor at the center she referred to me as Mrs. Gunn. Although the title annoyed me, as I have been divorced for 14 years, I didn't say anything. My badge clearly says Barbara Gunn. To make things even more confusing, my 12 year old grandson comes to the center almost every day after school and always calls me grandma. Most of the kids know that he is my real grandson and have picked up on the name, no doubt because age wise I am in the category of their own grandparents. I am aware that some children are raised to never use first names when addressing their elders so I understand that it may be uncomfortable for them to call me Barbara. A couple of those kids prefer to use variations of grandma, which is acceptable as long as their choice is accompanied by respect. The majority of the kids do use my first name. I know it would upset some older people, but for me it is a good choice. I often think of the word "god" and it sometimes makes me laugh. I know there are those who do not believe the entity even exists, but I am not in that group. I do believe in a body-less energy that is in charge of it all. As long as we use respect I do not believe it matters what name we use to refer to this entity.

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