This week, a child who I don’t know very well called me a hurtful name, ‘Deaf F—–‘ (Rhymes with Maggot).’ Instead of staying upset at him (he later apologized), I wrote “The Power of a Name.” You are welcome to share this with anyone you think it may help.
THE POWER OF A NAME
Before you continue to call me by a nickname, consider the power behind it.
When you continue to call me Jerk, I may begin to see myself this way and, instead of becoming a nicer person, I will believe I am a jerk and continue to treat you this way.
When you continue to call me Stupid, I might let that word sink to my core and influence my thoughts and choices for the rest of my life.
When you continue to call me Slob, I likely will not pick up after myself any faster but instead will give up trying.
When you continue to call me Slow, I may try to increase my mental or physical speed to the point of irreparable exhaustion.
When you continue to call me Loser, I may choose only to disappoint your expectations.
When you continue to call me Crazy, I may let that sink into my mind and never leave.
When you call me by the name printed on my birth certificate, or the name I wish was on my birth certificate, I know that you know who I am—a Person instead of a nickname.
When you continue to call me by my name, you will get my attention. When you refuse to use a nickname, you may gain my trust.
If you have ever called me by a nickname that is hurtful and you tell me you are truly sorry, you may even earn my respect.
Forget the nickname.
Call me by my name.
To learn more about hearing loss, deafness, and the importance of refraining from hurtful words, visit Lipreading Mom’s Stop Hearing Loss Bullying page.