Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Making Minor Musings: Labels

Excuse me for just a moment while I climb on my soap box.....okay here we go.

 Yes I am going to express one of my "passions" my "pet peeve" or whatever you want to call it. It's called Labeling.  Yes Labeling. .  I understand it's human nature, and I know I am guilty at times.

I have a friend that has a labeling machine.  It's very cool.  It labels THINGS.  Labeling THINGS is helpful for filing etc.   It provides useful information for those of who can read:)

Describing people can be useful if we are using it to gather needed information.   I think the difference between describing and labeling is when there is unfair judgment involved .

Yes, I am guilty of it.  When I was in college, I remember walking towards a building heading to a class.  A guy in front of me was tattooed, dressed rough (this was 25 years ago, this is a little more normal now:/).  I remember thinking to myself, "eww"  and thinking what a rough and "bad' guy he must be.  It was about then he approached the door, smiled at me, and held it open for me.  I felt like an inch tall as I filed into the door and then had a great guilt trip and chew out session with myself after that.  

Why do we do that?  Leo Buscaglia, one of my heroes states this about labeling and stereotyping:

"  Labels are distancing phenomena. They push us away from each other. Black man. What’s a black man? I’ve never known two alike. Does he love? Does he care? What about his kids? Has he cried? Is he lonely? Is he beautiful? Is he happy? Is he giving something to someone? These are the important things. Not the fact that he is a black man or Jew or 
Dago or Communist or Democrat or Republican."

I volunteer at a place that serves the homeless.  Homeless.   Label alert!  What do we think of when we hear the word "homeless"?  Loser?  Drug Addict? Ashamed?  OR  Child of God in need of help?  Hopefully the latter.   I  have probably labeled them as such at times, but I now I cannot.  These people are amazing people with circumstances out of our judgement zone that necessitate where they are in life. 

Mother Teresa states:  "If you judge people, you have no time to love them"

Of course, the greatest example is Jesus Christ, who looked past the labels, the social stereotypes and simply loved.

I willl now come down from my soapbox and try to follow His example.

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