After completing my doctoral program, I appended Ph.D to everything and reveled in being called DOCTOR. Then… I got over it. The other day, I received an email from a lady titled as the AUTHOR, and last year I became a tri-athlete where I followed the signs to the ATHLETE’s table. Then I thought about the importance of titles. They are important to the person with the title and to those without.
A title denotes a position either positive like decathelete or something negative like drug addict. With one word or phrase, we categorize, define, and assess. Once I told the guests at a B&B where we were staying, that I was a travel writer, and watched their expressions change. They began to engage with me in a different manner. They were captivated by my “supposed” profession.
There are times when a title is an entre to a group. For instance, when among athletes, I tell them I am a triathlete. If among entrepreneurs, then I tell them I too am an entrepreneurs. Military folk talk about their experiences in the military and find a common bond among other ex-servicemen. These labels (i.e., titles) establish a common dialogue and understanding.
But, the most important title is that which we bestow on ourselves. When my grandson asked me if I thought he was fat, I told him that he is the only one who can define him. His definition is the only one that matters. So I asked him if he thought he was fat and he said ‘no’, so then I said… you have the answer.
Signed…. the tri-athlete, doctor, entrepreneur, writer, story teller, professor, grandmother (guess which one makes my face light up… hint: it starts with a G)