I was born in Boston Massachusetts. This pins several labels on me: Bostonian, Masshole (to some), American, Yankee, New Englander … to name a few.
My mother was Jewish. This pins other labels on me: Jew, Zionist (to some) … plus some negative ones … yid, cheap skate, killer of Jesus … to name a few.
I am anti capitalism, and a conservationist, and a humanist. These in themselves are labels, but they also add to the growing list: socialist, tree-hugger, unpatriotic … to name a few.
I don’t believe any form of government existing today actually works very well … anarchist.
I choose peaceful means instead of combative … idealist, coward, wimp.
I believe in accepting people for who they are … idealist.
I don’t judge … naive.
I have a high IQ and am good with techie type things … genius, geek, nerd.
This list can go on and on. But you want to know the funniest thing about this growing list of labels that have all been attached to me? None of them … and I mean NONE of them … define me.
I am not defined by where I was born, where I live, or who my ancestors are. I am not defined by my job, my knowledge, or my income. I AM defined by my beliefs to some extent, but that all depends on me. Plain and simply, what defines me is how I live.
Labels are put on us by OTHERS trying to not only make sense of the world, but make it agreeable to their own perceptions. When someone labels you, that means they either think you behave a certain way, or worst yet expect you too. And those of us who buy into this nonsense, find ourselves conforming to the expectations because we too have been blinded by propaganda. It is such grouping that causes so much of the conflict in the world. We don’t allow others to simply be other people because we design an image of them in our own mind, and then judge them by standards they don’t even necessarily know exist.
So my question to everyone is why do we do this? Why do we insist on setting limits on how others can exist in our world, and then get upset because they don’t meet the expectations that WE set? This is not the way to a unified world. It may be the way to a stagnant unchanging world … but personally that is not the world I want to live in. Maybe we should learn to accept people for who they are, instead of trying to turn them into something we want them to be? Maybe the first step to a peaceful world is to stop living according to other people’s expectations, and to stop expecting others to conform to our own ideas. Simple live the best we can, and accept that others are doing so as well. We might find that we all have more in common if we just allowed ourselves to see it.
No expectations, no disappointments. No disappointments, no reason for conflict. Sounds pretty simple to ME.