The task was to complete the final edits on a history book I wrote for a client.
It's been a most interesting project, and being chosen to do the work has been an honour.
One unusual question came up regarding attribution of a number of 2008 comments from members of this organization. Some were signed, others not. Some featured names written in their entirety; others, just initials.
In order to ensure uniformity, the client and I considered a number of options, and anonymous was one of them. Although we decided to go another route, the exercise got me thinking about the word itself.
Derived from the Greek word anonymia or "without a name or namelessness," it typically refers to an individual's personal identity or identifiable information. A relative term, incognito, comes from the Latin incognitus. It also carries the meaning of a person who wishes to keep his or her identity secret while engaged in some activity.
The next questions? Who would exert efforts to remain incognito or be anonymous? And why? There could be several reasons – a donor may wish to remain nameless, for example, preferring to do their good deeds without public acknowledgment.
Someone fearing for their safety may use anonymity as means of protection. Or more disturbingly, someone planning or engaged in illegal activities might assume another name as a possible means of preventing detection.
One of the first Bible verses I remember memorizing went like this (in the old English version we used): "Thou God seest me." I've learned to love this modern version even more: "…‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me." Genesis 16:13
Why try to hide from the One who loves us so completely that His greatest desire is to shower His love upon us?