Why is it in our human nature to categorise people? Why is it that a label draws us to a person or turn us off a person? Why does a person’s ‘label’ define their entire being? And is this why people are scared to label themselves as anything? Labels seem to come with the price of a strict definition, but when are labels ever black and white? If somebody identifies themselves as a communist or a Christian or a feminist or a geek or overweight, that doesn’t mean they are exactly the same as everybody who identifies the same way.
We shouldn’t shame people for identifying a certain way just because we have preconceptions about a particular type of person or because we’ve heard a story about someone of a similar identity. We shouldn’t shame someone because we’ve pinned our own label on them without even knowing them. We need to stop. If we label other people or if we use people’s own labels against them, all we do is create cracks in the world to the point where we create unnecessary conflict and isolation. We perpetuate this by passing the same insecurities through generations. Let’s be more accepting and open-minded, more thoughtful and curious. Let’s ask questions instead of assuming answers. The answers might be the same as we expected, but if not, then we would have missed out on a great opportunity. Labels are powerful, but that doesn’t mean that they contain everything that we need to know. We need to look at them in the right way.