A woman in South America recently displayed an extreme case of the former impulse. She had grown tired of her name because it was too mundane. Apparently she garnered insufficient attention as Ladyzunga Cyborg.
So now her name, legally changed, is ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ.
My first thought when reading this was not that I didn’t believe it. In our foolish world, where people use symbols that aren’t even words for their names, I just shook my head. And . . . I thought “how fortunate for her that she’s not Chinese,” with its 46,964 characters as recorded in the Kangxi Dictionary.
This is not the sort of publicity Columbia needs. She’s acting bizarrely enough to be a mistaken for a Californian.
Of course, people at the opposite extreme—those who cannot bear the presence of other human beings—are also troubled. As with so many aspects of the human personality, people at either of the extreme poles are frequently deemed mentally ill.
This fetish for exhibitionism is alien to me. I would much prefer downing a pint with friends at the Eagle and Child to standing on some stage in front of “adoring crowds.”
My “introvert” quotient appears to be eclipsing my “extravert” qualities.
C.S. Lewis never sought the limelight either. He did not find his experience with notoriety pleasant. And yet, he accepted its burden graciously.
It is commonly known that some days he would spends hours (literally) corresponding with some of the thousands of readers who wrote to him as the creator of Narnia.
It was exhausting.
I assume people like Ms. Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz seek attention because they feel insignificant or unnoticed.
I find that tragic. Tragic because their name, their true name, is known by the most important and amazing person in the universe. The God who created them.
Each and every person, including you, is unique, precious and loved.
Knowing this provides profound peace. It also delivers us from the constant compulsion to seek attention.
Jesus described the profound value of each person by contrasting God’s love for us with the attention he devotes even to a single sparrow . . . “Not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”
And you, that’s you, are far more precious than these.