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or "what's in a name"  Show this Post

this may not be a popular post – but, then I have no desire to be "politically correct".  My intention is not to offend anyone – especially friends and family (not mine) that may by some bizarre chance read this, but…
why is it necessary to rename things from what's familiar, renowned, explanative and therefore most appropriate to someone's name that means nothing to 99.99% of the population and does nothing but cause confusion, annoyance and incredible expense in lost time, and conversion of tons and tons of preprinted documents, pamphlets, letterhead, and literally millions of online references?
it should be no surprise that the answer is always the same – MONEY!
I have nothing against philanthropy… and I'm all for individual charitable giving (to legitimate causes) and whether wittingly or not, I've been the recipient of the improvements to services accruing from such beneficence in a number of institutions… but, I've never come to terms with self-serving charity – which to me is not charity at all.   What comes to mind is   Mat 6:2-3  "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.  But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,".
Interpretation… if needed… charity done "publicly" is not charity – and if the reason or even just the result is having your name plastered all over the target of your donation then it's only to do just that… draw attention to yourself – publicly pat yourself on the back for being rich enough to "live large", but still donate enough to buy a legacy in the form of a building or an enterprise.  It's one thing to have a small plaque naming donors who wish to be engraved for posterity (not charity), but quite another to have an existing and globally recognized institution renamed for you.
And don't think the donor is the ONLY culprit in this… the institution itself plays a key role, whether by actively soliciting "a fistful of dollars" in return for the exposure or passively accepting that it's ok to sell your name for "a few dollars more".
it must be obvious by now – given the topic of this blog, and the top-level domain name it's being hosted on – that I'm referring to the "Toronto Bayview Regional Cancer Centre" and that's what I will always refer to it as, despite the name bought for it in 2007.   It's original name is completely appropriate – it's in Toronto – it's on Bayview Avenue – and it is the cancer centre for the surrounding Region!  Why call it by someone's name?  It means absolutely nothing to anyone – but the philanthropist and their immediate family…
I could carry on about the "Skydome" renamed 9 yrs ago for a communication conglomerate with the worst customer service in the business sector (and that's saying something when you consider some of the competition).  It will always be the "Skydome" to me – and to most Torontonians.  Or the O'Keefe Centre – yes, named for the financier/builder of it – which is totally appropriate – but then renamed twice since then for companies that made minor contributions that allowed some upgrades/refurbishing along the way.  However, these are not of concern to those of us who over the past 32 years have been patrons, patients, clients or staff of the one and always "Toronto Bayview Regional Cancer Centre".