I have tattoos, so I’m a trouble maker. I have curves, so I’m fat. If i wear makeup, I’m fake. If I say what I think, I’m a bitch. If have many guy friends, I’m a slut. If I cry sometimes, I’m a drama queen. Seems like you can’t do anything in this world without being Labeled.
Labeling is too narrow and limited of a conception to really define an individual. It produces a habit that conditions us to depend on labels as a guiding interpretation that nullifies the ability of an individual to think independently and to rationalize. Furthermore, labels are addressed in our own biased perception of who individuals that we try to fit with our understanding with a limited scope of information.
The problem with labels is they are merely shells that contain assumptions. When we are taken in by a label, we taken in by opinions and beliefs. The assumptions become stereotypes, which soon become put-downs.
People are complex, multi-faced and multi-dimensional. When we apply labels to them, we put on blinders and see only a narrow view of an expansive and complicated human being. The use of labels is more than unfair. It is hurtful as well.
Who gave you the right to call that shy kid in school, stuck up or snobby? You don’t know what the kid is been through. You don’t know the reason why he doesn’t come and interact with others. Have you tried talking to him? Have you tried understanding what he has in mind? So who the hell gave you the authority to label him?
Once we understand why we do so, we can work on eliminating the habit of labeling others. We can learn to observe and experience the world without judgement. We can remain detached from expectations and demands. We can learn to accept what is and people as they are. We can grow in humility.
Labels are judgmental. However, like it or not, sometimes we will be called upon to judge others. If you are to judge and wish to learn the heartfelt feelings of another, don’t listen to what others say about him/her; rather listen to what he/she has to say about others.
Finally, if you don’t mind changing gears and returning to the subject of assumptions, not all assumptions are harmful, just negative ones. I have discovered that if we assume everyone is good, regardless of his/her behavior, we will find that our assumption was correct. After all, goodness is our nature; we are all inclined to be good, and given the chance, we will prove to be so.