Why Label Yourself

We all seem to forget that we are individuals and the person across from us is too.

It is just like sports. You can love sports but most have to pick a team. It is not enjoyable enough just to watch them play. You put yourself in a position to take sides and deal with those consequences. 

Winners and losers are the results of a game. There are so many parts that can go right for a team and so many that can go wrong. But each individual part is rarely studied and given its own grade because it is over shadowed by the group performance grade. 

You will see the positive on your team but the negative from the other teams. 

It all comes down to finding your identity or significance through a group of shared beliefs. You may share most but not all beliefs in this group. It is to hard to discuss every aspect of you to let them identify you correctly. That is to complex and time consuming.

People put labels on things to simplify their ability to read, identify and compartmentalize quickly. The only problems with that is we are quick to judge and stop paying attention to the individual. 

We put labels on life all the time. ‘Right,’ ‘wrong’, ‘success’, ‘failure’, ‘lucky’, ‘unlucky’ may be as limiting a way of seeing things as ‘diabetic’, ‘epileptic’, manic-depressive’, or even ‘invalid’.
Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Dr. Remen is on to something. We use labels liberally and their prolific use can too often be limiting to those we label and to us.

Labeling sets up an expectation of life that is often so compelling we can no longer see things as they really are. The expectation often gives us a false sense of familiarity toward something that is really new and unprecedented. We are in relationship with our expectations and not with life itself.
… a label is an attempt to assert control and manage uncertainty. It may allow us the security and comfort of a mental closure and encourage us not to think about things again.

We as a society are only limiting our growth. Imagine if we all were just human and cared more about everyone's welfare. Have labels hurt society or not?


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