Chcka chka Slim Shady.
Not going there – I am going to give you one of my favorite ideas and make it the idea of the day today. What if…everyone had name tags? Imagine walking down the street and seeing that the nice woman holding the door open for you was named Julie. “Why thank you Julie!” Instead of “Ermpt…uh thank you miss” or the always pleasant no-eye-contact-I’ve-already-walked-past-you-but-I’ll-say-it-over-my-shoulder thank you. The bus driver you could call by name, the nice guy on the corner, the person bumping you on the train, the rude person on their phone in the train, the person who lets you into their lane with a pleasant wave. Imagine all these people were no longer strange faces in a crowd but instead they had a name and not a term of endearment or perhaps an expletive attached to them.
Sort of like the first day of Orientation at almost any institution – everyone feels like they belong because everyone has an awkward nametag and aside from bubble letters – you can’t make one of these (see below) look good. Also, instead of “Hey you – you get your ID over here!” you can say “Hi Tom, hi are you in line for your ID? The line is this way. :)”
I just imagine that the world would be such a better place and everyone would actually feel good about actually being able to humanize who they are talking to. So there is no “oh that lady is so nice” but instead “You know Jen down by the CVS, she’s always feeding the birds. She’s so nice!” or the “Ugh, some guy named Bill cut me off on the highway.” Both positive and negative interactions would be so much more fulfilling because you could tie an actual name to them.
I don’t know – something about it I think would be great and put a lot of people at ease. Then of course, some names could also bring about stereotypes and lead people to think certain things before someone even says a word…wait…don’t we already do that with clothes? hairstyles? shoes? maybe even what type of cell phone they have?!
Regardless, put me in a community where everyone has to wear a name tag (particularly since I’ve been awful at remembering names lately)and I’d be a happy guy.