What is your favorite brand to put on people? Epithets like redneck, communist, socialist, asshole, lowlife, uneducated, high-maintenance and loudmouthed are common ones I hear. There are others that don’t seem so offensive but put boundaries around the targeted person’s character; blue collar, conservative, liberal, progressive or overly religious. When we label others, we unfairly restrict them to this description.
It seems like it is second nature for humans to use labels to describe others. This is the way our ego uses to identify those who are for or against us. The problem with this approach is that the descriptor we apply becomes our justification for dismissing or accepting others. It allows us to shirk our responsibility to know the targeted person. When we label others, we use it as a prism by which to judge their actions. for example, if we consider a person to be an asshole, we interpret their actions to be malicious even when they are trying to be kind.
We put labels on ourselves
No one is harder on me than me. I often judge myself to be stupid, unattractive, unworthy of good things, unlovable and boring. Using self-descriptors to describe oneself is natural, but we can use them in a way that is harmful to us. I am sure you are just as hard on yourself.
Thoughts are things, so when you identify yourself with negative descriptors, you are negating your own true potential.
There is nothing gained by using labels
Our country today is divided in very negative ways. I attribute this to our penchant to put restrictions on those who differ from us. This is nothing more than labeling. It is an excuse to turn a deaf ear on one another. Classifying those who have different opinions or beliefs as evil, stupid or unethical illustrates that you want to feel superior to them. This desire to be better than others is what hateful fear mongers are using to manipulate us into picking sides. This benefits them, but it is not helping to create a greater good.
It is tempting to put people into neat little packages but doing so is not doing you or them any good. Place a check on your tendency to put others (and yourself) down with labels. This habit is causing you harm. It is what keeps you from evolving into the person you were meant to be. It is what prevents you from creating a fulfilling and exciting life. People are multi-faceted and are connected to the Higher Consciousness that is the source of all things. The negative labels we use on ourselves and others put a boundary around what this Higher Power can accomplish with is. A better world awaits us if we can see the full potential in others and we can embrace them with love, kindness and acceptance of all they are.
As always, wishing you a life filled with joy, love and serenity.