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Do You Have A Name?

Updated on August 8, 2014
The homeless are the nameless people of our society.
The homeless are the nameless people of our society. | Source

As I approached the intersection, I caught a glimpse of a young woman pushing a cart across the street. She was followed by two young children, each holding a plastic bag and strapped with bulging backpacks. They scurried along the walk until they came to a part in the hedges and slipped throughout of sight. I felt my heart jump. This was probably their home.

Traveling to and from work you become familiar with the route and the activities along the way: the bus stops, the billboards, the smell of breakfast wafting outwards from the local diner, and the pattern of traffic. But one never quite gets used to seeing those nameless people panhandling on the corner or watching them amble in and out of traffic pulling carts or buggies.

Observing a rather thin, unkept, elderly lady crossing the street, I wonder about her name. Has anyone called to her and offered a friendly "hello" today? I would shout out a good morning greeting, but without saying her name would she even turn around to respond?

What's in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
— William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

How simple a thing it seems to me that to know ourselves as we are, we must know our mothers names.

—Alice Walker

Names are an important key to what a society values. Anthropologists recognize naming as ‘one of the chief methods for imposing order on perception.’

— David S. Slawson

Tigers die and leave their skins; people die and leave their names.

—Japanese Proverb

Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

He numbers the stars, and gives to all of them their names (The importance of names to God)

—Psalms 147:4



The Meaning Of A Name

If we exist, we have a name. However, not everyone knows our name. Our names are important on documents such as birth certificates and driver's license. We cannot distinguish ourselves from others unless we have a name. We even give John Doe type names to those who suffer amnesia.

When I was in high school the trend was to call friends by their last name. It was a sign of being "cool" and accepted. I believe it would be an insult today to be labeled only by your surname among peers. In biblical times names had to have meaning and in a large number of cases a person lived up to its expectations. For instance, Esther meant star, Job meant persecuted, and Moses meant deliver and their life stories reflected the meaning of their names.

We are given names at birth and most of us grow into them over the years. Although, I have to admit I didn't like the spelling of my name as a child and changed it from Deanna to Dianna. -- now, I wish I hadn't. And depending upon the era in which you were born, your name may reflect your age. Do you remember when Harriet and Harold were fashionable baby names? Today, parents choose between popular names such as Dakota, Leander, and Cypress. Whatever our name is, we respond to it when called. It defines who we are.

Resource: Understanding the Homeless

What Does It Matter Anyway?

I have homeless students in my college classes; they are always the first ones at school and the last ones to leave. During individual consultations, I hear their stomachs rumble, which causes me pain knowing they have probably not eaten that day. As I listen to their stories on how they came to be homeless, my heart aches for them. They live in cars, parks, walk everywhere, and some people offer an overnight stay only to take advantage of their situation.

Still, they have a name and it is the one thing that gives them self-esteem in the group. I remember one young lady who consistently pronounced her name out loud before speaking in class, "I am Sorcha. My view of this topic is ..., " This would make the others turn their heads and listen intently to her words. After all, it was Sorcha speaking with the authority and mannerisms of a highly intellectual scholar.

Whenever I first meet a student, especially the needy, I ask their name. Often, they look up surprised, wide-eyed with wonder to connect with who it is that would want to know their name. Time and again, I see a smile as they tell me their name, because it means someone acknowledges they exist. Yes, a name does matter.

What do you think?

Is your name important to you?

See results

Invisible and Nameless Once Again

Getting back to my opening thoughts, if a name defines who we are, it is important and it matters to all of us. So I wonder if not being called to or addressed by someone affects the perspective of the homeless.

Most of us consider them unwelcome or invisible when they cross our path. We tend to look the other way or ignore they exist as we encounter them in our community. It is a bit unraveling to have to deal with them, and who knows what they might do to us anyway?

As I watch her, the lady pictured above, cross the street towing her cart behind her, I wonder if her mother knows where she is now. Does her mother mention her name? Does her name become her now? And when was the last time someone addressed her by her name?

When the light changes, I move forward while glancing in my rear-view mirror to see the last of her disappear between the buildings. Once again, she is invisible and remains nameless.

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    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 2 years ago from Florida

      Hi,

      A wonderful hub that shows us when the road is hard and rough to travel, people will always surprise you with their strength.

      The homeless need a hand up and treated equal---their misfortune at the moment is beyond their control. And, without family who is our support system---we might be homeless.

      Bobbi Purvis

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Wonderful piece of writing!

      How important it is to have a name! We all keep on treasuring our belongings, whereas all we have to do ultimately is to leave everything behind, but our 'Name.'

      And each one who is born on this Earth, deserves it.

      Very inspirational writing and food for thought! Voted up!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      Michelle, great reflection on the use of names. I remember when it was popular to call someone by their last name only. Glad that stopped! Thanks for your visit and support.

      Paula, thank you for your kind comment and support. Good to have your presence on this post.

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 2 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      What a moving and beautiful piece!

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 2 years ago from Singapore

      Dianna, very often it is the nameless who should have names. Well said. My hubby has this colleague he calls "the Malaysian guy" and I always lecture him about it.

      A wonderful share.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Sun, the homeless are at the heart of what my husband and I do to serve the community. I only wish we could do more. Thanks for the visit. May you enjoy a wonderful week.

    • sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

      Sunil Kumar Kunnoth 3 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

      It is a wonderful topic and even wonderful presentation. I loved it and enjoyed well. Keep on writing such informative hubs. All the best.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Abidareacode, I admire your contribution through teaching in helping students. Teachers have the opportunity to inspire and support people with their efforts, even outside of the classroom. Thanks for your added value here today.

    • abidareacode profile image

      abidareacode 3 years ago from Areacode , Kerala, India

      As a teacher your views are respected. I also work as teacher in India and was the charge of National Service Scheme , a volunteer organisation of students in Indian educational institutions. As the programme officer I could do many things for the community with the support of my volunteering students.

      As an appreciation to this I was twice awarded best NSS programme officer of Kerala State and last year the Indian President Mr.Pranab Mukharji awarded me the Indiragandhi NSS National award for best programme officer in India.

      Hope I could do more for the helpless around me with my student strength.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Ubanichijioke, how fascinating to know the tradition of naming children. You really should write a hub on this! Thank you for the valuable contribution.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Annette, I do love Plumb and have her CD's on my favorite music list. Thank you for the supportive comment. Blessings!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Jainismus, great to see you here! It would be interesting to see how numerology analyzes names in association with character. It may help someone understand themselves better.

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 3 years ago from Lagos

      Wthout mincing words, name[s] are very important; sometimes a name follower[s] the bearer. To-what-i-know and in Africa, people are christened according to the situation that prevailed in the course of [their] birth.

      To particularize, we the Igbos pf southern Nigeria have names such as Ngozi ie Blessing [this name is given mostly when couples have endured /fruitlessly overtime in search of a child. so when the baby arrives, it is a blessing]

      we have others like Chijioke, Ebube, Amaka, and Adaeze ie the King's daughter[ is mostly given to the first daughter of a King]

      and many others.

      People are given names according to what they have achieved or performed eg we have people who answer Ogbuagu ie the Lion slayer; and such people were renowned hunters and who in one way or the other achieved a feat of such magnitude.

      I will stop here before i will unknowingly write a hub on your comment space. LOL

      GREAT WRITE!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 3 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      This is a beautiful hub, Dianna. I love that you included the song by Plumb, who happens to be one of my husband's favorite singers.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      In numerology, a good name is very important. Name numerologists can analyze characteristics of a person just by his name.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Vellur, it just takes a smile to brighten anyone's day. So glad people like you know how to increase joy for others.

      Cyndi, I like your comment and your willingness to reach out to those in need. It will make a big difference! Blessings.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      Powerful words. A lovely way to make us all stop and think. We are always so busy with our lives, but how often do we pause to think about those who are less fortunate, who have seen the hardest side of life that we can imagine? Thank you for this. It makes me want to try harder to seek out and help another. Hugs.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      A touching and a great hub. It is so nice that you acknowledge each student and get to know their names. It means so much to the homeless, it is sad how homeless people are taken advantage of and ignored. Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      RTalloni, thanks for your most interesting comment. Names are so important. Whenever I teach the first day, the students are quick to let me know if their name is mispronouned. It's who we are.

      Harishprasad, I love your feedback to this topic. Yes, there are people who care more about their pets than their own kind. I'm afraid that there are those who do not have a place in their hearts for the needy. Sad, isn't it?

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      teaches 12345, this hub is so beautiful and inspirational that I wish billions of people read it and know the value of recognition of human lives. Sometimes I wonder people love their pets with all their heart but the same people ignore co-humans without compunction. It is appreciable that so many people are in charities and take care of the deprived with all magnanimity. Everybody cannot be like that but one should have at least a little touch of sensitivity in his/her heart to value humanity. You have spread a great message.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 3 years ago from the short journey

      So poignant on every level, thank you for a thought-provoking post from start to finish. The resulting comments are a great discussion, too--proof of a hub worth reading.

      The ending is heart-breaking, but we need to ask what is wrong with us (as a society) if we don't ask those questions?

      Btw, we know several people who as adults have dropped their nickname/abbreviated name in favor of their given-at-birth name, and we know others who've let their childhood name stick. It's interesting to think about their personalities…yet, I try not to make too much of it for some people never even think about their name.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Quicksand, you are so right. We need to remember to help those who need our support, even if it is just a smile or a glass of water. Most of us have a blessed life and sharing it with others will only make us richer. Take care and enjoy your week.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 3 years ago

      While counting our blessings we do need to pay attention to the woes of those who are homeless without simply passing the buck on to the super rich and the state. However, what can "WE" do? Nothing much I guess. Just a little bit here and there and hope for the best.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Jainismus, I can't tell you how much it affects a person to hear their name mispronounced. Spelling is crucial, especially in this day when self concept is important. Thank you for the added value to this article topic.

      Elle, the students are just wanting to be acknowledged and they appreciate the care. Hope you have a Merry Christmas as well! Blessings.

    • elle64 profile image

      elle64 3 years ago from Scandinavia

      Sad with homeless people, I am glad you aknowlegde your students. Merry christmas to you -

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 3 years ago from Pune, India

      Interesting read.

      If we pronounce a name in wrong way, it is not acceptable by the person. Wrong pronunciation hurts.

      In case of documents, not only the name, but the spelling is also important. A small mistake in spelling can create problems.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      It is always nice to see old friends, Lady E. I have not been on here too much either with my busy schedule keeping me away from the community. We had a marvelous time during our Thanksgiving celebration with friends. Hope yours was also a beautiful time.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 3 years ago from London, UK

      Very touching and thought provoking read. Sorry, haven't been around. I hardly write here anymore. Hope you had a beautiful Thanksgiving. :-)

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Andy, I like the idea of a mobile soup van. I will have to pass this on to our local homless coalition. I agree that teaching people to fend for themselves is better than doing it for them. I hope that one day we can see the end of homlessness, at least a big drop over the years. Thank you for your valuable comment and visit. Enjoy your weekend.

    • fiftyish profile image

      Andy Aitch 3 years ago from UK & South East Asian Region

      I think one of the problems with modern western societies is that people tend to use labels for those they don’t understand, and the folks who live on the streets are often just referred to as 'homeless people', or tramps, vagabonds, etc. There are also the nastier perceptions where people tend to categorize such individuals as drunkards, addicts, lowlifes, and worse.

      The lady you saw teaches12345, was a newborn baby once, just like the rest of us, and would have been someone's daughter, maybe sister, niece, wife, and mother herself. The number of homeless people is rising globally, but I don't know what the answer is. Mobile soup vans offer a good service, but they don't solve the long-term problem.

      The old Chinese proverb springs to mind: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life."

      Helping people to help themselves is perhaps the best any charity or local authority can hope to do. Easier said than done, I know! Anyway, nice thought provoking article ;)

      Andy Aitch

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Liz,

      Mark,

      JP,

      Your reflections have added great value to the homeless issue. Our country and others would greatly benefit from the attitude of respect towards those who are homeless. Thank you for supporting this topic. May God bless each of you for caring.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 3 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      After reading this, I was not able to post a comment right away. It made me think of those people that I see everyday. It made me reflect on how right you are. I see them, I passed them by, but never got to know them. Great hub!

    • markdarmafall profile image

      Mark 3 years ago from Moundsville,WV

      Powerful, Powerful, Powerful! This is a very eye opening powerful hub that speaks so much truth. We see the homeless everyday and our hearts go out to them. They are just as important to God as we are. Great job and did I say powerful yet? Thanks for sharing these wonderful thoughts of truth.

      Mark

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 3 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thanks for writing this hub Teaches12345 and reminding us that a name makes someone human - it is easy to ignore the so called "nameless" but our conscious is seriously pricked when we know someone's name. I try to find out the names of my neighbours who move in to our complex as a way of building community. The same in groups I facilitate and I always make an extra effort to remember the names (because frankly that is a challenge) because it makes the relationship more authentic. Thanks for your wise words.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Jodah,

      John is a very powerful name, I'm sure you have made it shine for you. Yes, the homeless are people with names and we need to respect them as individuals. THank you for your reflection and visit.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Brilliant hub Teachers1234. It makes you realise the importance of a name. I could always take or leave mine, thinking 'John' very common and old fashioned, but than I think about some other important people with the same name and think how lucky I am and only wish I could live up to it. Anyway, the homeless are also close to my heart and a lot of my poetry portrays that. Thanks again, you have a kind heart.

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Marlene, you have me in tears reading your story. I am so glad that your past has helped you to become a stronger person and not prevented you from moving forward. Thank you for sharing. God bless you!

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      There was a time when I was like one of your students. I had no car and no place to live. This was during my college days. Some friends took me in temporarily - not until I could get on my feet again, just temporarily. I remember having a few bucks to my name and going to the grocery store to buy food. I bought a can of lasagna and ate once a day. Eating a few bites at a time, that little can of lasagna lasted three days in my friend's refrigerator. I am fortunate that I didn't fall into the invisible category back then. Teachers are truly amazing people. I remember one instructor who made sure that in every class, he looked at me and spoke my name at least once. It was enough to make me feel like I mattered. It's not like that for so many others. Reading your hub brought back memories and at the same time made me remember to be better at saying people's names out loud - not their nicknames, but their given names. It's important.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Anglnwu, we are only lost in a crowd without a name. It means so much. Thanks for your reflection. Have a great week.

      Millionaire, I agree that people who interact with others as customers/clients need to learn the name and use it. It really goes a long way in building trust. Great insight!

      Glimmer, I think the Spanish surname practice allows a woman to keep her name while adding her husbands. It does help to place people and respect them as an individual. Thanks for sharing your views and how it works in your family. Enjoy your day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      My daughter and I were just talking about names yesterday. She is the last in line on my husband's side and she was sad that when she got married she would lose the name. We got into a long discussion about the fact that she did not have to change her name etc...My name was very important to me and when I got married I kept my last name and added my husbands. It was a part of me and I did not want to give it up. Names really are a part of one's identity.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 3 years ago from USA

      Names are certainly important - using them shows that you recognize the person as an individual, not just what they can do for you. As I have had contractors in my house, I can easily recognize which ones don't bother to take the time to learn my name - I am simply a means to a paycheck instead of a human. That said though, some people seem to get obsessed and require that I use their name often in every conversation even though they know I know it.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 3 years ago

      I agree names make us individuals, with our own unique character. I love your quotes, they are so insightful. Love this and rated up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Denise, there are many people out there who lack self-esteem due to the connection of their name and awareness of it. I like your name. But I also changed the spelling of mine when I was a teen. Go figure. I looked up the meaning of your name (according to one reference) and it means High spiritual plane, intuitive, illumination, idealist, a dreamer.

      That is positive! Thanks for your visit here and may your day by wonderful. Blessings.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Jackie, it is a shame that we cannot meet the needs of our own US population. I believe our priorities are misaligned. We should be able to help ourselves and others, if our leaders would only follow ethical standards. Thank y0u for your added content. Blessings.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Dianna, you've written a provocative and touching hub about those who are nameless. I can add other scenarios: prisoners; refugees; people of one culture, (Native Americans) who had been absorbed into another culture, (white); young adopted children; and about 2 decades ago, patients in hospital wards who were addressed by doctors by their diagnosis.

      I know that these situations are a bit different from the one you present here, however, it is part of the identity of that person.

      When I was a young teen I approached my parents with complaints about my name. Basically, I told them I didn't like it. Dad replied, in jest, that he wanted to name me GiGi, but mom didn't allow it.

      Although I'm not sure if there was any truth in his statement, I still don't care for my name, don't feel attached to it, and have pondered what name I felt fitted me more. Thus far-I haven't come up with anything else.

      BTW-I can tell you've thought very thoroughly about this subject. Your reference to the names in the bible, as well as the particular phase of last name calling struck a cord. I was 'Handlon' to all my friends back then, and it did, indeed, evoke a strong feeling of toughness.

      You've written a beautiful hub giving us food for thought. Thank you.

      UP/U/I/B and sharing.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I can tell you what name they all have that should mean they never go hungry, never get cold or lack a place to sleep or clothing to wear. That name is American and God have mercy on this country for what it gives to terrorists and strangers while her own citizens starve and I know a great number are small children and there is no excuse for it. Our government throws billions away every year, billions that came out of American's pockets and should go where they want it to go. Americans really need to start speaking up. If enough did it would have to stop. We need never-ending petitions going to the White House daily...maybe they would take a hint.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Mr. Happy, yes - a person's character is always interesting, regardless of the name. Thank you for your reflection and feedback. I wish you a wonderful week.

      Martie, I am chuckling at your comment because I too am better at faces than names. However, I try to remember the names of those I know are in need of care or have a need. Thanks for your positive feedback. Enjoy your day and stay safe out there.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 3 years ago from South Africa

      I believe our name is our most precious possession. Nobody can or may take it away from us. We can lose everything, but not our name; it may be forgotten but it is immortal. I have an embarrassing habit - I forget names, but not faces. Imagine!

    • Mr. Happy profile image

      Mr. Happy 3 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Very nice of You to acknowledge those who are homeless and not so fortunate, I appreciate it. This Spirit thanks You.

      I enjoyed the read, especially because it is from a perspective very different than mine. It is nice to pay attention to one's name I suppose ... to show personal interest towards that person. In my case though, I look at names as labels. I have many and none define me - they are just a tiny part of who this Being is, a tag. I am more interested in the content of one's character. To each their own, as long as we're happy.

      Cheers! : )

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Vinaya, thank you for sharing from your personal life. Yes, a name is important in every culture. You are a person of "discipline" indeed.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      In my culture name is very important. It is believed you can be liberated by simply chanting the names of Gods and Goddess. I was named after one of the three books in Buddhism. Literal meaning of my Sanskrit name is discipline.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      DR BJ, I have noticed everyone wants to spell my name with two n's. Thus, I am having to spell it almost every time. Go figure. Thank you for your kind comment. Yes, the number of homless is increasing and the funds to support them are decreasing. It is a national problem. I hope you have a wonderful weekend (and sunshine!). Blessings.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 3 years ago from south Florida

      Very well-written and thought-provoking, Dianna. There are more homeless people in the U.S. today than ever before. Over 43 million folks live at or below the poverty level in our America. Shameful!

      Regarding names, although you may have wished you had not changed your name, I do like it. You are the only Diana I know with two 'n's.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Suzette, thank you for your reflections. Homelessness is a puzzle to many. Who are they? They are people who for some reason have had a difficult circumstance force them into this life style (sickness, divorce, disorders, depression, etc.) I have students who, due to reasons such as being forced out of their home by parents or roommates, live a homeless life. Most of them go from place to place, or live in their cars. It is sad. I hope this answers your question. So glad you asked, I may do a future post on student life in this respect. Take care and have a wonderful weekend.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Rosemay, our names are special and we should respect each other's names. Great relfection and thank you for coming by. Be well and safe.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Very thought provoking and moving. Such a simple thing as a name is so important just to remind us that we do exist and are somebody not matter where or what we are. We are a person, with a name.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 3 years ago from Taos, NM

      What a heart wrenching article! I agree with you, names are important, especially to the homeless and disenfranchised. Thank you for taking the time to ask these students their names. You have made their day, week, month and probably year. I guess I am a bit confused. They are homeless, but attending college? Are they on scholarship? This is so sad. THanks for sharing this with us.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      DDE, I love the sound of your name! You are so right, our name defines us and opens doors to character development. It was nice to have you stop in and your comment is great feedback. Enjoy your day, dear friend.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A name gives an individual character and personality it makes the person alive in society and has its very own meaning, like for example my name is Devika and Devika means Goddess. Great hub and I like the way you approached this hub

    • teaches12345 profile image
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      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Faith, I do love your name and you live up to it! It is hard for me to concentrate on teaching when I know a student is homeless and hungry in class. I do bring in food to share on some days, as much as possible. The other students will also pitch in and bring goodies to share knowing how much it will help others. You have such a loving and caring heart, dear lady. God bless you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Beautiful and thought-provoking piece here dear teaches! I just cannot but to help in the smallest manner when I see one who is homeless, if not but for a smile, water or protein bar, blanket ... You are right, they all have a name and they are somebody, and they truly matter! They should not be thought of as just garbage on the streets for they are another human being.

      I know it is heartbreaking to see those in your class and hear their stomachs rumbling. I would have to provide some type of snack or something for them to take with them.

      My given name means "harvester" or "reaper" hence the "Faith Reaper"

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless you, Faith Reaper

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Livingstar, thank you for the support and visit. I appreciate your feedback.

      Nell, I saw that video of the cop helping the woman and it was very touching. It's what we should be doing!

      Lyric, you have validated my thoughts and I love your truthful statement on the homeles being good-hearted people.

      Jen, thanks for stopping by and your positive feedback.

      AliciaC, as you say, a name is important.

      Frog, I am glad this article touched your life today.

      Thanks to each of you for your coming in and leaving your thoughts and valuable statements. Blessings.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Nice written. Your taught me something teaches.

      The Frog

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 3 years ago from Illinois

      You have great stories because you actually care about people and their identities - not just their label of "homeless". I'm thankful your students (and hub-readers) have you as an influence! Thank you for this article. I have always liked my name :) - Ginger

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a touching hub that is also very thought provoking, Dianna. Thank you for creating it and for reminding us of the plight of the homeless and the importance of a name.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very thought provoking and interesting!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Teaches, interesting article. Most that know me well know that I've spent years being homeless, so the topic is dear to my heart. That time defined me in a sense, it made me into who I'm today. A complete stranger took me in and the rest is history. You learn a lot about yourself during such times, but it can also make you want to give up. I'm forever grateful, I just needed someone to care. We all make bad choices and bad decisions, some cost us everything. Good hearted people are homeless and little things can mean the world to them. Their name, that's what their trying to find. Great hub Teaches, voted up, useful, awesome, beautiful, interesting, and shared on FB.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      Great hub and so very true. A persons name means they are somebody whether on the street or rich and famous. also I think if only one person helps that homeless one then it can change their lives. I recently watched a film, can't remember the name of it ironically, but it was about a cop who helped a woman on the streets, it was an amazing film, and at the end the woman had picked herself up and was on the road to meeting her family again, wonderful! voted up and shared! nell

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Mhatter,

      Audrey,

      Susan,

      Longtime Mother,

      Bill,

      EP,

      The homeless and needy are dear to my heart. As I drive through the city, I often wonder who they are, if they are hungry, and if they have anyone in their life who cares. Audrey, it brings tears to my eyes every time I think about them having a name.

      I appreciate each of you taking time to stop in and share your thoughts and to provide feedback. Each of you has a loving heart and I know that, given the chance, you would take these people into your hearts as well (longtimemother - what a special person you are!). Value your name and uniqueness. God bless you.

    • livingsta profile image

      livingsta 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Beautiful thoughts in this hub Dianna. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      So very true and often we don't think about what someone's name is in these situations.

      I go by my middle name, Elizabeth, but there are about 4 other nicknames for me that people call me, so I answer to a few! I let them choose. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Such a powerful and important message my friend. I thank you for writing this. We must raise awareness, and begin discussions, and do something to increase our humanity. Well done!

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

      This hub reminds me how different I am to most other people on the planet. I still answer to my childhood nickname, my professional surname, my abbreviated first name, my formal married name, and 'woman'. Lots of people call me 'woman' ... mostly my friends, as a result of being asked "Who is that woman?" It's becoming one of my favourites. lol.

      When I lived in the city, if I drove past a mother with children who was clearly homeless I would stop the car. There's a very good chance they would have come home with me. The little old lady pushing the cart would have had at least $20 in her pocket, even if I'd held up the traffic while I ran across the road to give it to her.

      I've spent small fortunes in take away food stores buying meals for teenagers who I wasn't sure could be trusted with cash - telling them I'd buy them a meal if they sat with me and had a chat. Then we'd talk about the reason why they'd run away from home and assess the merits of going back ... and the options available to them if they really wanted to be independent - to get them off the streets while they found a job.

      If you were my friend, teaches12345, you'd already have told your hungry students that you know a woman who might let them stay at her home while they find their feet - and you'd roll up at my door with a sheepish grin and a carton of milk so we could all share a hot chocolate while I made up some beds.

      Since moving to the country and living off the grid I rarely pass homeless and needy folk on the roadside. I kind of miss them.

      Your hub is brilliant, but it saddens me. Isn't there anyone else in the world who answers to the name 'woman'?

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've always wished that I would have been named after my mother and grandmother, which was Margaret, but my mother felt that there were enough Margaret's in the family.

      I found your hub so interesting to read and I really like how you were inspired to write this. My first thoughts when I see a homeless person are, do you have a family, are you hungry, and sadness comes over me.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      I am so touched by what you have said and all that you out have pointed out with respect to 'names.' Tears welled up in my eyes when you told the story of the homeless children in your class. You've helped me to be both proud and even grateful for my name. I wouldn't have dreamed that I could learn so much about the importance of having a name. This hub should get an award. And those children you teach are so very blessed to have someone like you helping them to learn and grow.

      Magnificent writing. I voted up, useful, beautiful, awesome, interesting and will do some serious sharing.

      You've given us all a marvelous gift. Sending you beautiful thoughts my friend ~ Audrey

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this reflection. I like the way you styled it.