You can pick your friends and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your... name?
I have a friend who came to the United States from India who has an unusual and difficult to pronounce last name.
The name came to him, not by choice, but by oppression-via-form. When he came to the US, he had only one name, a common practice in his home region. But, in order to fill out certain forms to become a citizen of the United States, you need two names - a first and last. He chose his father's first name as the extra name.
It's an oppressive cultural practice, but no more so than the assignment of names period.
A name is something that you keep for your entire life, something you use every day and something that makes you you. We change all sorts of things about ourselves to develop identity. So why don't we choose our own names?
Yeah but then we'd all have names like Superman and Beavis
Well that's simply not true because everyone has the power to do it now and most people just don't. However, it's a good point. At what point in a person's life should a new name be taken? Certainly we name children because they are incapable of naming themselves. And adolescents would likely end up with names like Batman, Cinderella and Pikachu - all legit name choices of course, but probably not what they're going to want to be known as for the rest of their lives. "Adulthood" at 18 may not be the best time either. I'm thinking somewhere in the mid to late 20s.
A taken name
Traditional names do have a purpose. A given name is what you get from your parents based on what they deem significant/appropriate. A family name is something you get from... your family and it makes some sense for lineage and the concept of "clan".
So I propose we add a taken name. For the sake of transition and tradition, we would have three names total.
So what would you pick as a name?