Let’s talk about labels! How do they affect us? For good or for bad? These aren’t rhetorical questions. I would like to hear your opinions. Talk to me.
The “gay man,” the “rich Christian woman,” the “Muslim man,” “trans female,” “cis male,” “liberal,” and now….the “guncle.” You can’t just be an uncle anymore, who happens to be gay, you are now a “guncle.” Don’t believe me: https://www.mommyshorts.com/2017/08/honoring-guncles-lives.html (sponsored by Johnsons). There is even a “Guncles Day” in August! Because straight uncles get 364 days a year we’ve now set aside 1 for the gay uncle. Don’t you feel special?! Or….. not. Does our constant redefining of ourselves push us further into deeply defined boxes or does it free us to be who we want to be?
Let me just say this; I bet you clicked my link because of my choice of label for this blog. You had preconceived notions about what I was going to say, and you got fired up with your “ammunition” to attack or defend whatever I had to say. You either were going to call me a “self-righteous bigot,” or affirm me for stepping out and embracing the beautiful diversity of human beings. Either way people are ready to fight each other over labels. We take a side and we gauge the “care” we have for the other person based upon the label. Therefore labels promote prejudices.
I want to submit to you that labels are actually polarizing our society, and news channels are using this “hate” for the “other side” as leverage to get more views and clicks. Have you actually read the propaganda put out by Liberal and Conservative channels? Change the label “conservative” or “liberal” and they both basically make the same claims about “the other side.” It’s quite comical actually if it weren’t so hurtful and slanderous. If it weren’t all a lie to garner clicks and stir up emotion! Labels also offend people. If you don’t know the latest you just aren’t “woke” enough.
I want to submit to you that defining ourselves so specifically opens us up to criticism and prejudice. It opens us up to hate. The further we define ourselves the more people will see us for our labels instead of the person we are. You may not click on a story “Christians persecuted in Iraq,” but you’ll click a link that says, “homosexual beaten and thrown off a building.” Why? Why don’t you care for all the same? I can guarantee if it were just a person standing in front of you -without labels- you would care just the same. In my opinion it is the label that determines our degree of care and compassion.
Some labeling is necessary, but should we “define” people by their labels instead of seeing them simply as people? In other words– hear a person out; get to know them regardless of their label. Love people, respect people, have compassion for people, and treat everyone the way you would like to be treated–no matter their label!
**Did you see the Heineken commercial “worlds apart?” If not, it’s worth a watch. It simply proves that sometimes the labels we put on ourselves, and others, divide us. But when we come together we can make great things happen as one people. I’m not saying we always have to accept what the other person believes (obviously–look at my other blogs). I’m simply saying we should have care and compassion for all people. If we care when one group of people gets persecuted we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to another group simply because we don’t agree religiously, politically, socially, etc.. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we shouldn’t care.**