Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Power Of A Good Name

Yesterday I was talking with a couple of friends about the "old days" and my friend Max told us a story that his grandfather often told him when he was a young boy. The story took place when Max's grandfather was a young boy himself and in a time where there were no cars and most people walked everywhere. Max said his grandfather's family lived about five miles from town and his grandfather told the story like this: One day his father told him to stop at the hardware store after school and pick up a part for his plow. After school, he walked to the hardware store and realized that his father had not given him any money. As he stepped in the store, he immediately saw a large sign that read: ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIT. As he was reading the sign, the man behind the counter asked, "Can I help you son?" Max's grandfather (sorry. I can't recall his name) told the man his story about the needed part and that his dad forgot to give him money. He knew he would not have time to walk the five miles home and five miles back before the store closed. The man behind the counter asked him what his name was. He said, "____ Banaszynski. Then the man asked,"What's your father's name?". He told him, "John Banaszynski". To which the man behind the counter replied, "That name is good here" and he gave him the part and told him he could pay for it the next day. He took the part home and told his father what happened and his father gave him the money for the part so he could pay for it right away the next day.
This Tuesday I have a job interview with the company my oldest brother works for. It's a job that I am not qualified for on paper but my brother feels I am fully capable of doing. My brother is one of the most hardworking and quality conscious people I know. Obviously the company he works for feels the same way because it is only by his name that I am given this opportunity. I know that without his name, my application would have gone straight to the garbage can. If after my interview I don't get the job, I'm O.K. with that. I just feel honored that my brother would have the confidence in me to put up his good name.
All of this just makes me consider my own name and it's worth. Would my name give my son some "credit" with another person? Or would my name be enough to get someone an opportunity that they would not be able to get on their own? Or is my reputation such that my name carries little or no weight at all. As I lay in bed tonight, this is something I will ponder. And when I wake up tomorrow, a good name is something I will strive for.