There is a national society for people with the name Jim Smith. You can join too if your last name is Smith and your first name is Jim. And they take all derivations of the name too – James, Jimmy, Jimmie Ann (yes, even women can join).
It’s one thing to run into someone with the same first name. That’s interesting, but unless you have a name like Odey, it’s not really a show stopper. But how often have you run into someone with your same full name?
Have you ever done a Google search for your name? You might be surprised with what you find. I spoke to a man who told me that he had learned of other men with his same name. Interestingly enough, these other men are from all around the world and from time to time they mistakenly receive each others’ email. When forwarding these misdirected emails, they correspond a bit. What’s the connection between these complete and utter strangers? Their name.
Sharing a name with someone is a tight bond. According to Roy Feinson in his book, “The Secret Universe of Names” humans “exhibit an autonomous response to sounds from the moment they’re born.” He points out that names do indeed influence the individual. So, what does he say about the name Jim?
Well, first of all, there are an awful lot of Jim’s out there – over 4 million of them! Mr. Feinson describes Jim’s as follows: “There’s a sense of self-satisfaction (and even a hint of smugness) associated with this name. For even though they’re not the types to throw their weight around, they are usually granted authority over their social groups. People naturally defer to their lad-back style of leadership.”
How interesting that a bunch of Jim Smiths decided to put their leadership skills to use and organize a national society. They even conduct regular outings. In fact, their website logo is, “We don’t shun fun.” Who else but a “Jim” would think of a tagline like that!
Of course, not everyone with the same name will be exactly the same. Experience shares some of the life-defining credit too. And genetics have some influence as well. But so do names.