Talking About Labels

Today I want to talk about something uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to me, and I am sure as you read this you will start feeling uncomfortable too.

Talking About Labels

Labels. Each and every one of us, without exception, labels other people. And each and every one of us, without exception, has been labelled by other people. And much of the time this is done from a distance with little insight or actual information about the person we are labelling.

I am not going to touch on racial labelling, but am rather going to focus on how gossip in a community enables people to label others without any regard for who they are or their true circumstances. Sometimes this labelling is done conversationally and we think we are describing the other person. But using words like loser, delusional, stupid, slut, loud mouth and bossy, just to name a few, can have a far reach effect on someone’s life and on how other people perceive that person.

We humans are so quick to accept that someone is what someone else says they are without actually having first-hand experience of the person that is being labelled.

The issue with a label is that all it contains all sorts of assumptions. And these assumptions, made by other people, are taken as fact and passed along the gossip grapevine. Until communities believe that individuals are what they have been labelled.

Consider that I was labelled rebellious from an early age. And in the real scheme of things I was actually not rebellious at all. But other people saw me as such from a distance. What I was at a young age was a questioning person, I always wanted to know what lay beneath something and could not accept answers such as “because that’s the way it is”.

The question for me is, who have I labelled recently and who have you labelled recently? And isn’t it time to stop labelling? Isn’t it time to find out who people really are and not accept the labels that others have given the?

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