I remember receiving a box of donated foods for Christmas one year. Three cans were in it that did not have labels. It took me forever to finally open those cans. I never thought about those cans until hunger struck. Labels are great for products. They tell us what’s inside.
Labels are not always applicable. Take people for example. Labels create stereotypes. If I said that a person was African, do you picture a light skin or dark skin person? Are there people with light skin born and raised in Africa? Nerd, redneck, Irish, Latino, and gay are all labels. There are preset parameters we establish with these words. There is nothing wrong with these parameters until they are used to prejudge others. This is called being prejudice.
We limit our expectations when we place labels on people. Would you want a nerd or redneck to fix your computer? Without considering either ones educational background we often assume their level of intelligence.
I have yet to meet a person who likes to be limited, and yet, we place limitations on people everyday, whether we know them or not. Additionally, if they stumble and fit that stereotype, we are quick to point and say “I told you so”.
When did we become so juvenile?
We know labeling people is not couth. When are we going to change? When are we going to set down and get to know each other before we judge each other? This is a short-coming within our society.
The change starts with me. I am responsible for my actions. How can I expect others to change when I haven’t put forth the effort?
Labels are great for canned foods, not for people. If we see someone labeling another person, we should stop it right there. There should be zero tolerance for labeling each other. We can change. It starts with us. Together we can create a society that accepts each other.
By the way, I received three cans of pork and beans. 🙂