What’s in a name?

Abraham Lincoln — 16th President of the United States of America


Why are they worth money?

What is it about some pen on paper, or silver paint marker on a photograph or Sharpie on a part of your body that suddenly says, “This is valuable.”

Is it the accomplishments of that individual?
Is it what the individual stands for, or once said, or is attempting to do?

Tiger Woods — Professional Golfer

I was thinking about this today while listening to ESPN radio on my way to the office.
The discussion was about the perception that Tiger Woods is a “jerk” because he won’t sign autographs.
(That is a different discussion for a different time.)

Why do we want autographs from people?
Aren’t they just people?

What is it about our culture that causes us to stand outside of a stadium, or tour bus, or in line at a bookstore so that we can get get the signature of someone on an object that will be framed, cherished, and/or never washed again?
(Ever hear someone say, “I’ll never wash this part of my body again!”? Please, sir… I’m begging you… wash it.)

I’ve done it.
When I was a teenager, I got Third Day‘s signatures on my t-shirt at the water park in the middle of the summer. I think Rebecca St. James, too. I never washed the t-shirt, and then threw it away when the once-white shirt was a golden yellow color.
I’ve bragged about my autographed copy of @ScottWilliamsChurch Diversity book. I tell people about it as if Scott and I are friends.
My most proud autographs are of two US Men’s National Soccer Team players; and more specifically, US Soccer Hall of Famer Marcello Balboa (who I played soccer with in the mall in North Attleboro, MA).

It’s as if it brings some sort of false validation.
It allows us to feel important for a moment… brag on our brushes with celebrity.
But, does that instantly add monetary value to ink?

    What about you?

  • Have you ever waited for an autograph?
  • How did it make you feel when you got it?
  • Have you ever been snubbed by a celebrity?
  • Have you since washed that part of your body?(You don’t have to share that part if you didn’t.)

Thinking about things of REAL value today…


Bono — Lead Singer of U2


One thought on “What’s in a name?

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