A Long Name

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Simpler solutions can be much more effective.An old Chinese superstition says that the longer a name, the longer lived and happier a person will be.

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A Long Name
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There is a very ancient and very old legend in one Chinese village that people with long names would live long and happy lives. Every villager, when they had a child, would spend a lot of time coming up with the longest names they could think of, so that their children would prosper. It was like a competition between families, each trying to out-luck the others.

One day, one of the women in the village had a strong and healthy son. She decided she would give him the longest name anyone had ever given a child. She puzzled over what to call him for three days and three nights, thinking of nothing else, not even sleeping!

She just thought and worried and thought some more. Exhausted, she finally came up with a truly long name, and with the last remains of her strength, she called for all her family to come over so she could tell them.

“His name shall be Zhong…” she began in a whisper, and then she passed out from exhaustion, never to wake up again. Everyone wailed and wept for her. Unfortunately, they’d never found out what the name was the boy should have had. After a long talk, the family decided that they would keep the name his mother gave him, and so from that moment on his name was Zhong.

A few years later, Zhong’s widowed father married again and soon enough they were expecting another baby. This mother, too, believed a long name would bring a long and happy life to her child. Following in the steps of Zhong’s mother, when the boy was born, she didn’t eat or sleep for three days and three nights. She was completely exhausted, just like Zhong’s mum, but this woman lived.

She called for the whole…

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