Saturday, July 5, 2008

Labels and definitions

The question is: Why the need? In simple terms, I believe defining someone in a specific way is a basic method of packaging, summing everything up into one easily handled form. It may be the first logical step to determining how to deal with a new person, but it is full of danger in the form of assumptions. Again I ask, why the need? Why not just realize that people are complex and even those that share specific traits may be polar opposites. Why try and fit everyone into neat little boxes?

What about the labels we put on ourselves? Democrat, Republican, Atheist, Christian, Environmentalist, Scientist, and on and on. Claim one as a title and you will find yourself viewed in a specific way based on not necessarily your actions, but the actions of many others who share your designation. So why label ourselves? Isn't our action enough to speak for us? If it isn't, shouldn't it be?

"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say. --Emerson"

That quote brings to light a very important aspect of self imposed labels, it doesn't really matter what we claim to be if we don't back it up with action. I know none of this is original or earth-shattering, but it is one of those things I believe very strongly in.

1 comment:

Simply What Matters said...

Well said! I agree with you 100%! I often am saddened by the way people categorize and in your words "label" each other and as you said attach their own judgements and perceptions based on those labels instead of who the person is. I think that is one of the problems that has arisen from all the choices we have made within our society. Often we only expose ourselves that fit different criteria that we feel fits with our own. But in limiting ourselves in that way, how many amazing people and experiences do we miss out on? And how does that affect our own development and perceptions? OK off the soapbox now... Suffice it to say you hit the nail on the head! Very well said Mike!

Blessings for the Journey, Brenda