The Limitations of Labels
There is little I know about the lives of others. I may know nothing about being gay, bi, trans, black, a woman, or anything outside of being a white male. if this is the case then there is no reason for me to judge others, or put a label on them because of my ignorance.
Now that I accept I know little about the lives of others, I have realized it’s not my place to tell them how to live. Sure, I write articles on how to improve our lives, be more self-loving, and then share this love with the world, but each of us will find different meanings in all that I write.
Just because I know nothing about what other people are going through does not make me right and them wrong. Or me wrong, and them right. All this means is I do not have a full understanding of the struggles they may face.
I often wonder about the courage it takes to stand up and claim our differences to the world. This requires courage because when someone does not understand someone else, they often place a derogatory label on the person who they perceive as different. This then defines their idea of who this person is. Yet all a label does is make the person doing the labeling feel superior.
When we get to a place of labeling those who appear different than we are, we now limit our ability to understand the true nature of this person. The labels we place upon another person, prevent us from seeing the fullness of the person we are labeling.
If you label me, white male, which is correct, you are blinded by the label and fail to see the totality of who I am. This label does not represent all I have learned, all I share each week in my blog post, and the love I have for all beings on the planet. My label—white male—has stopped any further inquiry into my true nature, because we have been taught that the label says it all, when indeed it does not.
One of the things about writing in the inspirational/self-development genre as I do, is I get to question my own beliefs. This way I see which beliefs serve the greater good, and those that are worth discarding from my consciousness. This allows me to question the labels people carry, and seek a true understanding of the person being labeled.
The judgement associated with a label keeps people in a box that makes us comfortable. If we were to have the inner strength to look past the comfort of these labels, we may begin to see the truth of who a person is. I am far more than a white male, I am a husband, brother, son, writer, motorcyclist, author, on, and on it can go.
As we set aside the limitations of labels, we may see we have much more in common with those we once labeled. Everyone wants to feel love, we all want a dry, safe place to live, and we want healthy food to eat, to name a few. These are desires we all have in common, desires we can all support each other in securing.
I lose nothing if a person of another race and ethnicity gets a great job and can provide for their family. No one of a different gender orientation takes anything away from me if they live next door, rides motorcycles and writes in the same genre as I do. Each of us experiences the world differently, and it is these differences that makes the world a place of great learning.
When I step away from using labels to pigeonhole a person I may not know, I open myself to learning who they truly are. In doing so I allow them to understand me as well. One thing I have learned through the course of my life, is we are far more than the color of our skin, what country we are from, who we choose to love, or the gender we identify with.
At the root of all of us is an eternal source of love that knows no boundaries, limitations, or conditions. It is this love that carries me through the day, and it is this love that causes me to seek more understanding with the people who choose to place the white male label on me.
How often do we fail to recognize the person behind the label. Are we strong enough to leave labels behind and recognize the truth of who they are?
Let me know what you think, I’m always open to exploring the subject further. Leave a question or comment below, or email me at email@example.com
Each week I email an article to those who have subscribed to my weekly. This week I wrote about why we choose to stay small. Here is an excerpt.
If we are staying small to satisfy others, we are not loving ourselves, nor are we allowing those we claim to love the freedom to live to the fullness of who they are. In behaving this way, we are allowing our fears and uncertainties to interfere with the journey of self-discovery.
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Wishing you and those you love a safe and healthy New Year. Thank you for being a part of this wonderful adventure called life. I appreciate your support.
Peace and Well-Being
Copyright Paul Hudon 2021