Yesterday I read Moses Mukisa’s blog and it brought to my recollection a conversation I had with my Dad not so long ago.
My father deliberately didn’t give all his children except one (the favoured last born) his name. His thinking was that if he turned out “wrong” his children should not live with the burden of his transgressions. He also argues that it was a clean slate for us to be our own persons.
So what’s in a name!?
I am blessed that I can sit and have conversations with my Dad on literally any topic and he is knowledgeable too. We talk about the past, present and the future. I don’t know what it is about getting older, but people generally seem to think more about the future as they grow older. Part of me thinks it is because history is predictable and generally it is safer trying to predict or prepare for the unpredictable future.
The conversation with my Dad was after we had exchanged scattered thoughts about many things. With a sincere demeanor he leaned in and asked me, “Son, I have not amassed wealth for you, I neither have herds of cattle nor square miles of land that I am going to bequeath you and your siblings. Have I really done much for you?”. He went on to tell me how we as children were never cost-centres. “You people studied for free, when I hear the amounts of money you must part with for your children in pre-school, I shudder to think how much it will cost you by the time they get to University.” He added.
This was my response to him;
Dad, with God’s help you’ve given us the best any one would desire. I don’t think any of your children would trade you and mom for any other parents and that’s not cliché. For a man who preached that irrespective of how tall our father was we needed to do our own growing, storing up wealth for us should be the last thing on your mind. You have given us an education, you’ve instilled life values and discipline, the fear of the Lord and given us a good name. A name that even without using it, we silently bear with pride.
My Dad retired close to 20 years ago and lives in a house that was partly built by a newspaper that paid dearly in damages for baseless stories to tarnish his name. Now, that’s a good name. One that is more precious than rubies and choice silver as the bible says.
So what will our children say of us?
WHAT’S IN A NAME?