There may still be such a thing as childhood innocence–but the days of parental innocence are long gone.
As the world’s population continues to grow on a planet with limited resources, parents know their children will be living in a competitive landscape. Before many children are even born, their parents are already busy networking and negotiating a future that will offer their offspring access to the best schools, the best jobs and—in theory—the best lives.
That entire process begins with conceiving/adopting a child, of course–and then the personal branding begins. Everyone asks expectant parents if they’ve considered a name–and it’s a dumb question. Of course they have; in fact, they’ve probably bandied about dozens of options, running them through that emotional Rolodex of acquaintances in their heads and trying to remember whether Cliff was a bully in grade school or Samantha was that girl who got kicked out of high school for smoking weed in gym class.
Choosing a name is a daunting endeavor for parents, because they usually approach the deliberations with airline-loads of personal baggage. Then they’re subjected to the personal baggage of others—from prying mothers-in-law to gruff strangers on the subway.
Life is hard by nature. The last thing anyone wants to do is burden a child with a word that will impede his or her chances at success in life.