Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's Talk About Labels

How do you label yourself? We're all rather unique individuals, yet we share common ground too. Most likely one word, or label, does not fully describe you.

This time of year, election time that is, brings out the very best and sometimes also the very worst in people. People judge others solely by their political affiliation. Two little words. Democrat. Republican. Those two words mean so many different things. Yet people quickly make assumptions about someone simply by using their political label. People are far too special and complex to be simply described by one word. Could you describe yourself using only one word? If not, then why judge others using one label alone?

It's amazing how one word, or label, often immediately elicits an assortment of thoughts and feelings about someone. Jock. Geek. Redneck. Millionaire. Poor. Politician. Salesman. Unemployed. You can imagine plenty of scenarios that go with each of those words. One word alone doesn't always paint a full picture of a person. You know what happens when you assume, right?

A more appropriate label is probably made of many words. Currently, my label may read something like this: wife-daughter-niece-cousin-friend-chef-nurturer-intellect-introvert-extrovert-photographer-traveler-thinker-gardener-artist-athlete-comedian-scientist-empath-helper-writer-wanderer-bibliophile-foodie-nerd. We're always learning and growing, and labels adapt accordingly. They are not static things, and neither are people. If we label others, let's at least try and label them correctly.

Your combination of labels may not be, word for word, exactly the same as mine, but I bet there's a chance that you'll find at least one word in there we share. Try looking for similarities, and we just might find common ground in an overlapping label. Don't be so quick to label someone, because you might discover you had the wrong label all along. Maybe you'll even learn to label someone as friend and not enemy.

Respect differences and similarities. They're what makes the world go round.

{ different isn't bad... it's just different }


  1. "Respect differences and similarities".... love that thought :) Thanks!

  2. LOVE this post! You are SO right. This needs to blasted all over FB and Twitter since people of "opposite" labels (or so they seem) are being so mean and nasty to each other right now!

  3. "Respect differences and similarities. They're what makes the world go round." ... very well said :)

  4. I really like this post. My personal facebook blew up with political comments and it really got to me. Then, I realized people were losing friends because of statements made. That got to me even more. For everything you have in common with someone, there are probably two things you don't. That is why we are unique. I don't like being labeled. Even politically. Because I've found that even within a label, I may not fit completely in with what everyone perceives for that particular label. If people didn't jump to such quick assumptions, maybe labels wouldn't be so bad after all.

  5. Oh, you'd probably like this. I wrote this as a status on Facebook about 4 weeks ago because I was tired of all of the labeling and political stuff:
    For the record, I was tired of the election & campaign by the end of the primaries. No candidate, let alone a Facebook friend, will change my view on any issue. My political leanings are as unique as my fingerprint- as are yours. And I don't believe social media is the proper outlet for sharing my views. Whatever happened to those three things you never talked about at the dinner table? Where have our manners gone? Just food for thought... That being said I respect each and every one of your political views. Just know I don't care.