I believe that we are all trying to find a place in the world, one in which we are recognized not only for what we do but for who we are, have been and are trying to become. It saddens me that some spend their time reducing the totality of themselves or others to perceived accomplishments (or lack thereof), rather than appreciating the totality of the experiences that encompasses and informs individuality.
We are given names when we are born. They are important.
However, as we grow older, we learn that for our names to retain meaning we must add to letters to them: BA, MA, MS, PhD, PsyD, ED, MD, JD, etc. For those letters to have meaning, we must license and/or certify them. We bury ourselves in debt and play the Russian roulette-styled game of one-upmanship, risking our self-esteem, just to prove one point: our existence is meaningful.
Our existence does not boil down to answering: what school or what job or what house or what car or, even worse, who we know.
That we have the privilege of and are aware of our existence gives our names meaning enough. Even without names, we are still enough.
At least, this is what I believe.
(From a note to a young friend)