Life Without Labels
What would life be like if we never labeled another person?
She’s fat. He’s handsome. Why is she so depressed? He’s feminine. You’re aggressive. I’m shy. My dad has ADD. My wife is controlling. My brother is a sex-addict. My kid is insecure. She’s gotta be a lesbian. They must be Muslim.
How would we live differently if we chose to see souls walking around with the same fabric of life and breath and potential and preciousness as ourselves?
When I label someone, I put them in a box. Unconsciously, I insert myself into that same box!
I’m essentially saying that I can only accept a certain type of person that fits into my little comfort zone. Never mind that the victim of my labeling has just as many treasures hidden within them as I do! Living in a box doesn’t benefit me one bit if I want to become a better me. If I am really going to try to be present | be love, as I tattooed on my body as a life message, then I can’t keep retreating to my box.
Let’s talk about a very prominent label used excessively today in our world; being gay.
This label stirs so much emotion, rage, anger, and disgust among many people. But why? What does another person’s sexual orientation have anything to do with your life? Nothing. How they live their life has nothing to do with you, so go focus on living your own life.
What does it profit you to slap a label on another person? Does it enrich your life in any way? Does it help you define yourself better?
Most of my life I have put labels on people. It has been a normal way of seeing others. Well, I’m tired of doing it. It doesn’t improve my life in the least bit. It makes me less compassionate and more self-righteous, even if it’s just played out in my mind and not verbalized.
As I have learned to slow down and think about what I think about, I have taken baby steps toward change. Often times I recognize my label gun when I hear someone else do it. Then I take some time, alone and in silence, to reflect on statements I’ve made or thoughts I’ve had that labels another person.
If I want to change how I see people, I must be intentional. It will take hundreds, if not thousands of moments of reflection to remove what has been my default mode of conduct.
The quintessence of my ramblings, The Golden Rule. Surely, you’ve heard this concept since it is explained from the perspective of psychology, philosophy, sociology, and religion.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Maybe it’s time we make a greater effort to treat people outside our in-group the way we would want them to treat us. People different from us. People that don’t look like us, act like us, talk like us, smell like us. Because we are all different and that’s what makes each one of us beautiful!