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What's In a Name? Names as Rewards

Updated: Feb 18

A man with a flag.

Life is generally dictated by chaos, and by chaos I refer to random chance. Unless we are to know of some cosmic plan, anything can happen to anyone at anytime, anywhere. The braver you are to do new things, the higher the randomness of chance might occur.


We may reduce this chance by any means, legitimate or not, moral or immoral, normal or abnormal, but ultimately that random chance will always exist to a degree. In other words, everything and everyone is at the hands of chaos, big or small as it may be. That's my philosophy on everything that exists or could exist.

The same goes for us and our names. It's not like we are necessarily deserving of a name when we exist before we're born or even before pregnancy, and that's because the race for our existence begins long before we are even conceived biologically, in the form of the sperm and the egg.


In other words, in order to even come into fruition, we must beforehand be the ones who reach the woman's egg in time, before many of the other sperms.


Nothing, I say, nothing ensures this elementary victory, because countless other sperm can reach the egg before we do, and eventually, attain the name we have today; the name we were originally given when we're born.


The origin of the baby is a brutal one in a sense that there is no ensuring that the baby's components will be in the right combination that would turn into us. To be simpler, any other sperm could enter the egg before us, and as a result, win our names instead of ourselves.


Adolf Hitler could've been a different person if another sperm would enter the egg in his stead, and that technically applies to any human being that has ever existed or exists. As to alternative methods of birth, I am not well-versed, but won't be surprised if the selection of combination isn't very specific. It's nevertheless like gambling in a casino, right? Taking a chance, per se.


In that sense, our original names are our reward for making it into the world without dying in the process. The brutal truth about pregnancy is that any embryo or fetus can be miscarried, and feel free to prove me wrong if I happen to be.


Not only we risk losing in the sperm race, we also risk being miscarried. Finally, some of us were not "meant" to be born by our parents, due to them failing in birth control.


I'm not implying that some of us are mistakes, not at all, just that the parents' intentions at the time were to engage in intercourse without procreation. I refuse to believe that some of us are mistakes, because as long as we're alive, we should be alive and see what life can offer us (and vice versa).


I think we should be grateful that we exist, simply because we could've failed in existing several times. Even before facing dangers outside of the womb, and even before entering the womb itself.


Life might not be easy for everyone, but at least we succeeded where countless failed: In being born and, as a result, in earning a name. See your name as something that's like a trophy; a trophy that's yours for eternity, unless you are to change it entirely or partially like I did.


Names are, in a way, titles; the title of distinct existence that is different from the many sperms that died. They won't necessarily be remembered by anyone, even by yourself and your parents. That's because you, the child, are more important than them, even though the sperm could've been in the exact same position as you are. The same name, the same role in your ancestry, and even the same position you are today, I don't know.


Usually for women, they have their own title if they so wish to attain in life: the surname of the husband, unless there are exceptions, of course. Some have their husband's surname as their new surname, others add that surname and so on (and sometimes men do it too).


What I'm trying to say is that even gaining a new surname for yourself is quite an achievement when marrying because relationships don't always work, so marriage can be seen as a form of an achievement, with the surname of either partner as the reward.


In a sense it's similar being born, because there's always a chance of failure due to whatever reason, and the other partner can always walk out the door if he or she ever wished to. Of course, it's the same while being married but I digress.

This stage in life is of course skippable because not everyone is married or wish to be married.


At last, the final stage of existence's race lies within death, or in how you and your name are going to be remembered, based on the actions of your life. This is the stage were you both have great control and lack of control.


On the one hand you are responsible for your actions, but on the other hand you cannot control how others will see you. The only difference in death, lies in the fact that you won't be alive to explain yourself to your post-life critics.


Maybe you don't really care what happens after you die, and that's your choice, but for some of us it is important to leave a legacy after our departure.


Even if we take Hitler again, then of course that his deeds left such a negative mark on the world, that there are things that became despicable, due to his existence: A certain type of salute, a certain type of symbol, a certain type of facial hair and, of course, the names Adolf and Hitler.


I am not sure, but my great grandfather's original name was Adolf, but it's obvious that he wasn't named after Hitler as he was born before World War Two, and I think was born in Romania.

It's because of that tyrant that this first name is no longer acceptable, along with many other features related to him. If not mistaken, said ancestor changed his name to Abraham, probably because of Hitler (I do not know my ancestry well so don't take my word for it, the logic from it is the point).


In order to not be remembered negatively, we have our whole lives to prove to the world that we're not evil or at great fault, and that is, especially, if we choose to be public figures. Life in general, can be seen as a one long procedure where we prove our innocence to those who may accuse us. My former master was practical, when he said that he prefers a life of anonymity.


See how much there is in a name, that has the power to influence the world itself. If another sperm won Hitler's name, maybe the world would've been different, and that's all because of the principle of chaos. While we have some control over our actions, we can't control randomness.


Remember that your name is not only a reward you get for existing, but also something that you can protect from negativity by living a fair life. That is, of course, if you care about reputation and being remembered after dying.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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