Rembrandt’s famous painting “The Night Watch”
was commissioned by sixty individuals
who paid 100 florins each—
in addition to the captain and lieutenant
featured in the painting,
who paid 500 florins each.
Upon its completion, the painting was hung in a club,
where the smoke, over time,
darkened the painting
such that when it was moved
from the club to a museum,
when it was examined,
and the watchmen were identified in the darkness,
it was named “The Night Watch.”
Later, after it was cleaned,
imagine the surprise,
the painting was discovered
to have been set in the light of day.
But the name “The Night Watch”
was, by that time, so liked (and known),
that it was kept!
What’s in a name?
Sometimes the opposite of what was intended!
Until we notice—acknowledge—
that the power to name,
in politics, religion and culture—
represents such a powerful tool
that often has little bearing on “reality.”