It’s the end of a week on being different. We started with a tribute to Johnny Cash and it’s time to end the week with one of the most different message songs that Johnny did. A Boy Named Sue has always been a favorite song of mine to hear. The story in the song is about a young boy who has to endure the punishment of living life with a name that was not only unusual, it was also a girl’s name. And for a young boy to have it meant that he would be laughed at, put down and abused most of his life for it. At the end of the song he meets his dad, who left the family right after the boy was born. In the encounter, his dad tells him why he gave him the name: to make him tough.
In the world we are in today, many people now have strange names. Yesterday we talked about generations and how we find ourselves applying the standards of behavior from our childhoods to our kids. Our preferred names have changed over time. They can also change from where we grew up. And the names we give our kids here in America could be far different than the names given to kids where my brother lives, in Singapore. When this song was written it would have reached people in our country, and it would have been strange to have a boy with a girl’s name.
There was a purpose in the father naming his son that; it was done out of love but that would be hard to see. We all want love to be a good feeling, we want love to feel warm and bring us only good times. The truth is love has some hard times in it. When coaching people they have some tough things to face, hard choices to bring the success they want in life. It’s that tough love that brings great success.
I wanted to use this song first as a wrap-up to our week on the word “different;” it was the song I first thought of when making the week’s theme and the fact that last week would have been Johnny Cash’s birthday made it more appropriate. This week was also influenced by the fact we had a different day in the middle since Feb 29th only comes once every four years. But I definitely wanted to use the final song to close out the week’s theme with a song that really showed a boy who was different.
We all do not have a different name like being a boy named Sue, but we are all just as different from everyone else as the boy in the song being named Sue. We all try to fit into a mold that was created for us to be just like everyone else. When I talk of ideas to become a unique you and build a great brand of who you are, that is what brings far better success than just building a franchise based on someone else. I once heard the phrase, “You can only be a second best someone else. But you can be the best you that you can possibly be.”
It’s time to take your life and become that best. Like it or not you are just like the song about a boy or girl who stand out. It may not be your name, but you stand out from everyone else. You have to learn to use it for your success. In the song he used it to become tough. Tough may be too much in a world crying “peace” today. But as a dad he knew, it was a tough world and he wanted his son to make it in a tough world. He thought giving him that name would make him tough.
It’s a tough world out there; so many things are trying to make us all the same, trying to make sure each of us is on a level playing field, to make sure we all have the same success, that we are all even. Well, I am against that idea. When we all are trying to be even that takes away the challenge to always be working to become better. The difference in my belief is you need to become your strongest competition. You need to be working to make yourself better than you are, not working to always be making yourself better than your friends or neighbors.
Over the years I was taught how names have meaning. I was told my name, Timothy, meant Honoring God. That was a tough name to live up to. I still feel every day I fall short of the meaning of my name. But I will spend the rest of my life working to make me better at living up to that different idea that Tim must be better to live up to a name that means Honoring God. I hope you now see you are different. Learn to make it work for you and become successful. If you need help call or email for a free consultation on your purpose and place.