Labels. They serve as a means to classify and identify items/ goods. They come in various forms, sizes, and colors which all assist in classification.
You can walk into an average kitchen and see labeled bottles (e.g. mayonnaise, some spices, etc.) here and there. Without these labels, one can’t differentiate between stuff unless, of course, by experimenting.
Well, can you imagine mistakenly pouring spoonfuls of salt into your coffee instead of sugar? Even the thought of that is very horrible. I mean, for some of us, the coffee is already bitter as it is and now it tastes salty too? Yuck.. just yuck (sorry dear coffee lovers)
Labels In Society
Now it’s not just inanimate objects that make use of “labels”. You see, even in society, you can see this everywhere. Someone’s nationality, religion, age range, behavioral patterns, etc. are all labels used to identify which part of society they belong to.
While this can be useful at times, there are circumstances where it is the root cause of problems.
Did you know that a majority of wars and societal issues these days are caused by the labels?
“When I drive my car, you don’t confuse my car for me. So when I drive my body, why do you mistake me for my body?”
The root of racism comes from the labels. Our bodies are like cars we drive around.
The dealership we call society decided to label some the “black” edition and others the “Irish” or “white” edition. And with no money down, 0% APR, no test drive, we were forced to own these cars for the rest of our lives.
I fail to see the logic or pride in judging another by the cars they drive because who we truly are is found inside.
You see no baby is born racist and yet every baby cries at the sound of another baby’s sorrow.
Case Study – The Effect Of Hitler’s Label during the Holocaust
Take the HoloCaust as another example.
An era when millions of innocent people who were killed just because someone else labeled them “inferior”. Economies destabilized, infrastructure worth millions destroyed, and potentials lost (perhaps the next Einstein was among them).
All because one man decided that the Jewish race was “inferior” and not fit to live. Therefore, this label led to the loss of numerous lives.
In summary, over 60 million people were killed, which was about 3% of the 1940 world population (est. 2.3 billion). That was the effect of one label.
A car cannot label a phone as inferior because there are many functions a phone can carry out that it can’t. In the same way, we’re in no position to label anyone as inferior because everyone is unique in their own way. You may be a better writer than me but you never know – perhaps I’m a way better artist.
Labels in the Academics Society
Many students are labeled “failures”, “stupid”, and “inferior” just because of an exam they didn’t pass. Or even due to the fact that they failed a Calculus test.
Sometimes, the weight of it is so much that some resort to suicide as a way to “take it off”. Either way, we lose out on so much talent. Perhaps he/she could be the next Michelangelo.
“If you try to force a fish to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid”
Not everyone can be an Einstein or Eddison who, after numerous “failures”, did not give up but kept working towards their goal. No two people are the same. Hence, you cannot measure someone’s success by another’s. You cannot label someone based on what it seems like they are failures at.
“I don’t see problems, I see challenges. Because problems need a solution but challenges are just platforms for undeniable victory”
One Step Toward a Unified World
What would you be if the world never gave you a label?
We say we want a more unified world. Well, if we all agree to remove these labels that divide us, we’ll be making progress toward that goal – one step at a time.
It may seem impossible. Why wouldn’t it? Most of us have had to carry them all our lives. And so they’ve gotten stuck like a bad habit refusing to go away. But we need to understand that these labels will forever blind from seeing a person for who they truly are unless we get rid of them.
Just like bad habits don’t magically “go away”, I’m not saying I expect us to get rid of the labels overnight. But we can at least try – how hard is that?
Shout out to my fellow collaborators:
- Addison D’Marko: One Step At A Time
- Barb Caffrey: Graduate School and One Step Toward the Impossible
- Ajibola Sunday: One Step At A Time
- Tajwar Fatma: One step at a time towards the impossible.
- Ipuna Black: One Step Toward a College Degree Despite Odds
- Sadaf Siddiqi: Taking one step
- Nicolle K.: Scaling the Wall that is NaNoWriMo!
- Jothish Joseph: Friendships, a step at a time!
- Sonyo Estavillo: “One Step Closer: Rising From The Ashes Of A Tumultuous Relationship”
- Mylene Orillo: Happy Birthday Day to Me
- Camilla Motte: Being Positive in a Negative World
- Manal Ahmad: Happiness, one step at a time.
- Divyang Shah: One step at a time towards impossible
NB: I’ll add to the list as they come.