By Oludare Mayowa
Since my adult years, I have always been having issues with the order in which my name is written by some people who assumed some sort of authority over how they think my name should be written rather than the way I preferred it written.
My family name comes before my personal name, as is customary or more accurately correct, however, some people believe that my personal name is more appropriate for a surname than my family name.
I had encountered people who were of the opinion that my family name should not be what it is because most people they know bear my family name as their first name. Despite the fact that I have to extend the courtesy of educating them on the fact that family names are products of what the progenitor of the family considered suitable for them, they still want to deny me the privilege to bear my own family name in peace.
There are other groups of people who would rather abbreviate my first name than to write it in the manner it should be written because they are used to the traditional way of some Yoruba shortened names.
I sometimes feel I should not blame such people for their stance because I have also come to realise that what you obtained by tradition is often very difficult to change — habit, they say die hard.
But again, I have the right to determine the order in which my name should be written in official communications and how it should be called out, this I am not in a hurry to concede to whoever wishes to snatch away such right from me.
Recently, I transferred a fee to a professional group to which I belong, with my bank statement forwarded to the treasurer with my name clearly written in the proper order while I also followed up in the same order I preferred my name to be written. But what did I get when the name of people who have paid their subscriptions was published? While others get their name written in proper order, mine was an exception because the person who compiled the list felt he has the right to reorder my name in the manner he wants.
The same thing happened in the estate I live. In the attendance record at the usual monthly meeting, I will write my name in the order it should be, but when the minutes are published, someone, somewhere would have reordered my name. Sometimes, my first name would have been shortened as if the seven letter-words are constraints for available space. I have had the course to openly ask for proper correction at some meetings in protest against the order or the decision to shorten my first name against my wish.
I told someone some time ago that with the order my name was written in the register, it appear that they were referring to someone else while they deliberately omitted my own name from the list.
My protest was met with laughter against what was tagged as my being too rigid in my response to how my name was written.
I actually understand that there are times names are written in reversed order; that is family name first and then the first name, but in that order, a comma should separate the family name from the first name to show that the first name is indeed the family name.
Secondly, when such is the case, all the other names on the list or register should be in the same order, not that someone would choose to write my name in such order only to write other people’s names in another order.
Someone had also asked me why I always chose to make such fuse over insignificant issues such as the manner my name is written or why it is shortened in the manner it is pronounced even by family members.
In my journey through life, I have witnessed some occasions where people lost opportunity simply because their names are either misspell, wrongly written, or a part was shortened or reordered.
The inconsistency in which their names were written became their albatross which eventually caused pain and sorrow for them in the future.
The significance of this my long ‘turrenche’ is that little things matter more than we choose to pay attention to them.
Many of us have neglected to pay attention to minor details because we initially did not believe that they would have any bearing on the direction of our future. But this could have been avoided, and the things we ignored eventually caused us sorrow and suffering.
Someone recently lost their job as the company’s CEO due to a little, unaddressed issue in a certificate. The person’s fate was negatively affected by the differences in the way the name was written, the order in which it was written, and the adjustments that were made to it at different times.
In such cases, the opportunity lost may be extremely difficult to regain and the eternal regret is capable of leading to depression for such victims of mere carelessness.
There was also another person that lost the opportunity to become governor of his state because of the error of filling a person that had a liability of discrepancy in his certificate as a deputy. The election was nullified on the eve of being swearing in because he and his party failed to pay attention to little things.
It is not only in the order in which names are written that could cause such grievous pain. Some careless habits, attitudes and weak characters are some of the essential little things that lead to pains in the future simply because we do not pay attention and make efforts to correct them.
On social media, many people have lost privileges and opportunities that ordinarily should have helped to lift them because of the failure to pay attention to little things. There are many that simply failed to clinch a job because of the manner in which their social handle names are written. Some are because of how they have responded on phone to people who are positioned to help; social media interaction that ended badly or ill-mannered responses to innocent requests or enquiries on social media.
The question I am going to ask you today is when are you going to own up to those little blunders of yours? Those things you think are insignificant, unimportant or should be ignored may come back to hurt you.
Pay attention to the way you dress, your manner of speech, the courtesy you extend to others, the way you treat others and how you respond to people on the telephone, etc, because these are the little things that people used to judge us and come to conclusion about our personalities.
Sometimes, you would not be there when decisions are going to be made about you simply as a result of the little things you have ignored in your life. It is very important that you start making the right changes now.
If your name is misspelt, written in the wrong order or shortened, please don’t keep quiet about that, ask for such to be properly rewritten or corrected. If your attitude towards others seems to be repulsive, kindly make an amendment or if your social media handle is written in such a way that does not support an image of a responsible person, make a change today because of your tomorrow.
Be ready to remedy those careless words you drop in the moment of fury, be mindful of those little secrets that you think no one will ever know about and the act of unkindness that you think does not matter, these are evil that may wait ahead of you in the future to hurt you.
Your future may depend on this, there is nothing insignificant, nothing unimportant and nothing should be ignored, be prepared to redress any wrong in your life, and pay attention to what others are ignoring, it may be your saving grace in future.