Monday, April 14, 2014

Labels Are For Boxes, Not People (AKA The Post Where I Get Rant-y)

We put labels on boxes so we can know what's inside. The labels are there so we can evaluate what's inside the box without looking, learning, or investigating for ourselves. We take for granted that the label is all we need to know.

How often do we do the same to people? We quickly label them and decide their “worth” by whatever quick label comes to mind.

      Unemployed. Employed. Poor. Rich. Middleclass. Upper class.

When was the last time you sized someone up based upon a quick label?

      Fair skinned. Dark skinned.

Do you put labels on people and take for granted that you know all you need to know?

      Introvert. Extrovert.

After nearly 10 years of marriage, I can tell you that I am still learning about my husband and he is still learning about me. Believe me when I say: In the most intimate of relationships, with open sharing, we can still misjudge each other.

      Fat. Skinny. Health nut. Junk food addict. Vegetarian.

So, why do we think we have strangers all figured out by a simple label? Why do we presume to guess the motives of others based on a label?

      Sinner. Saint. Bigot. Religious. Athiest. Agnostic.

When you put someone in a box with a neat little label you stop learning about them.

      Republican. Democrat

Don't label and certainly don't stop learning.

      Highschool education. Higher education.

The nature of human beings is that they will surprise you. We aren't meant to be kept in a box.

You are the sum of your life experiences, the choices you make, and the people you influence. Not the sum of the labels society places on you.

One day, can we just stop evaluating someone's worth all together?

You are a person. You live, you breathe, you matter. Full stop.

I don't consider this to be an end-all-be-all on the topic of labels in any way. This is just a brief introduction to the giant Rant-y Land I wander into when we talk about labels and putting people in boxes. This topic started with this tweet or the tweet started the topic? Chicken vs. egg. Any way.
Legit Box I don't mind if you put me in.

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