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What's In A Name?

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, said Shakespeare. For nearly half a century, I thought there wasn't all too much that was special about a name. I thought no matter what you called it, it didn't change what it was. That is actually true on a lot of levels. However, names also have a value that I didn't see before. Like most people, I thought when someone famous dies, who cares who remembers their name? But as it turns out, I do. I care. And here's why...


Nikola Tesla invented

  • AC Power (alternating current)

  • Tesla Coil

  • Magnifying Transmitter

  • Tesla Turbine

  • Shadowgraph

  • Radio

  • Neon Lamp

  • Hydroelectric Power

  • Induction Motor

  • Radio Controlled Boat


Tesla's contribution to society was immense. That remote control you hold in your hand... Tesla. That computer you're typing away on... Tesla. The smartphone you never put down... Tesla. That x-ray you needed... also Tesla. The list goes on with how this man impacted our daily lives. Yes, he's gone and on some level, no one cares. They're just happy they have what they have. And on some level, I'm sure he wouldn't care either. He wanted to create for his own reasons, I'm sure, and they may have little to do with remembering his name.


I've spoken with people about this topic of names many times over the years and everyone seemed to arrive at the same thing... It's egotistical to even care about it. But something didn't add up for me so I didn't quite stop thinking about it. Recently, I landed here... Elon Musk took the Tesla name and branded his car company with it. On some level, that's a flattering gesture. Though I don't know Elon, I'm sure he didn't intend any harm. I'm a huge fan of his so I don't mean any disrespect by even bringing. this up but respect is on point. I think the popularity of the Tesla vehicle will override the popularity of the man whose contributions are part of our daily lives. This rubbed. me the wrong way.


Although Tesla, the man, is long gone and it appears to be no matter of consequence if his name is remembered or not, I think it should be remembered as a sign of respect. That has nothing to do with the dead man and everything to do with the living. We, as individuals who constantly have his contributions in our hands, should have the respect to remember who put them there; who made our lives better and more convenient. By showing respect to those who added to our comfort and well-being, we learn appreciation. Appreciation leads to understanding value. Knowing how to assess value accurately helps us understand and respect ourselves. It's all a giant circle and we keep breaking the circles thinking there are no consequences to our actions, but aren't there?


A society that shows no respect for its contributors will have fewer contributors because there's nothing to incentivize people to want to help. There's nothing that pulls them to partake in its betterment. Sure, social media is full of creators, but are they Tesla-level creators? Are they creators that will change the daily lives of humanity and help it into the future? I'm not trying to diminish creators. no matter the level, their contribution is great! But people like Tesla or Einstein or Curie should be timelessly remembered and appreciated for how they changed our history because that appreciation we give to them circles back to us. Those people are the gifts that keep on giving.



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