There’s a children’s “welcome” song I know sung by many children in their preschool years – and it goes like this.
Hello – Hello -what is your name? Hello – Hello – We really want to know. Hello – Hello –
what is your name? (Child answers Others repeat it) and then Hello, Hello, Hello!
And when that child’s name is said, and all respond Hello, Hello, Hello – the child’s face lights up!
Now – as adults – we can’t go around singing this tune (although I will have the catchy tune to this little ditty in my head the rest of the day) but just think – if and when we are around new people – people outside our familiar group – we would reach out and say hi – my name is – what is your name? – how significant that can be.
For once you know someone’s name, there’s a bridge there to know more – to connect – to learn – to understand – to share- to include.
When you hear your name spoken – something in you lights up – it’s a warmth – an acknowledgement -a connection – a sense of belonging – of inclusion.
And in our world today, those four things – warmth, connection, sense of belonging, inclusion are more significant than ever.
Checking out at the supermarket – or ordering in a restaurant where name tags are worn, or the waiter share her/his name, my husband always notices – and always uses their name when thanking them – often asks about their name if it is unusual or makes a connection in some other way
Excuse me – but yes – I admit – I used to “roll my eyes” a bit at this actually very warm gesture – maybe because I thought it too personal.
But – always – I would see a light come on – a response that proved me wrong – names are important – “my name is important – recognized –” I’m important “ – and in that brief connection, the “world” is a kinder, friendlier, more inclusive place.