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What is my name?
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 by Vicki Dorshorn

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose / by any other name would smell as sweet." 

These words, written by William Shakespeare, are words which Juliet speaks in Act II, Scene ii, of Romeo and Juliet. In the case of Romeo and Juliet, their last names were a curse to them because of the long-standing feud between their families.

However, a name is supposed to be a blessing, since "A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches"—Proverbs 22: 1 (NKJV) and "A good name is better than precious ointment"—Ecclesiastes 7: 1 (KJV). The Hebrew word for "good name" means, according to Strong's Concordance, "through the idea of definite and conspicuous position, an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality," and, by implication, "honor, authority, character."

Most of us know that John Wayne's birth name was Marion Robert Morrison, later changed to Marion Mitchell Morrison (or Marion Michael Morrison), depending upon whose report you believe. At any rate, when cast in Fox's The Big Trail (1930), the studio decided that he needed a different name—hence, the change to John Wayne. Most of us also know that Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known as Mark Twain.

What does this have to do with a "good name"? In both those cases, an easy, recognizable name was deemed better than a family name, however majestic it might sound. And, after all, "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet."

But what happens when you don't know what name sounds best? I've published as Victoria Carroll, V.D. Carroll, Victoria Dorshorn, Victoria Dianne Carroll, Vicki Dorshorn, Victoria Collins, and probably others.

I've used my maiden name to honor my parents; I've used first and middle initials to keep my identity separate for different genres. After all, who would read a Vietnam War story written by a "Victoria"? However, for poetry, "Victoria" sounds so . . . poetic. My close family, church friends, and some colleagues know me as Vicki; students and many colleagues at the university level know me as Victoria.

Years ago when I worked two accounting jobs, I was "Vicki" at the CPA firm and "Victoria" at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Split personality? MPD? Or just a case of trying to compartmentalize my identity?

Maybe I'm still figuring out who I am. It would be so much easier to just have one name on my business card and introduce myself only by that name—to everyone, everywhere. Perhaps I should post a survey and have my contacts and followers vote on what name I should settle on as my "name." Any comments?

But names aside, I'm glad I know who I am spiritually. I'm born again in Christ, a child of God, a servant of righteousness, a Spirit-filled Christian, a friend of Yeshua Ha'Mashiach. And it is His name that is really important. After all, there is salvation in no other name, "for there is no other name under heaven given among people, whereby we must be saved"—Acts 4: 12.

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