Sunday, March 15, 2009

What's in a name?

Tomorrow marks exactly one year of my being an official alumna of the university I attended. March 16 was the College of Science graduation day - one of the most awaited days of my life. The last thing I remember writing down for school was my graduation speech, the address of petition in vernacular, to be delivered in behalf of the graduating class of 2008. It was an honor I will always remember.

When the giving of diplomas, taking of oaths, etcetera were done with, Tim (B.S. Biology major with the highest honors in the college for 2008) gave the thanksgiving message in behalf of the batch. Like what I did with mine, he started his speech by acknowledging the vice rector for religious affairs (presiding officer of the commencement exercises), the dean, the regent, the assistant dean, the secretary and the chair of each department in our college [in that order] - all of whom are important people in the school administration who created structure for our college years.  If not for the five-minute time limit, the generality the message had to exude, and the formality of the ceremonies, I am quite sure that anyone who would be given the chance to exclaim a public address of gratitude would've possibly taken the time to mention by name every single person who have been an essential part of the scholastic journey. I know I would have.

Honestly, though, there are times when I am bad at recalling names. Believe me, I don't mean to forget but sometimes it just escapes me and sadly - just when I remember - the person who, for instance, said 'Hi' to me has already left. Meanwhile, I have my share of experiences when a person whom I've spent time with, who I know much about, wave at, smile at, or talk to forgets my name. "Listen, I'm sorry I have to ask, but.. er.. What's your name again?" I get that feeling alright. It is as if... I'm not that important enough to remain in memory. Last in, first out.

I understand we all have our moments, especially me, but I do realize that names are venerable because they distinguish people from one another and represent them - it is a word or group of words by which we are known throughout our lives. With these thoughts, I have promised myself to exert much, much more effort to bear in mind names especially of people to whom I have just been introduced.

While I struggle with remembering and trying to be remembered, it is so reassuring to know that the Lord has 'enscribed us in the palms of His hands' (v.16):

But now, thus says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine."
- Isaiah 43:1

To everyone who has been a part of my life journey, thank you. Bless them, Lord, you know each one by name.

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