March 3, 2021•293 words
In a world where culture (and, as a result, society at large) exists to create new needs, not fulfill existing ones, labels have become an ever-present sight.
We use labels to differentiate, but maybe, most importantly, to shape our own identity. All in all, it is much easier to "absorb" a label with its entire baggage, than to individually shape every inch of our identity.
When you say you are a Christian, people immediately attribute certain things to you. Maybe they will view you as a trustworthy, humble, well-meaning person. Or as a blind fanatic without any degree of objectivity and respect for the outside. Same thing when you say you are an atheist; just the other way around.
It worries me that our reliance on labels, which is neatly convenient, ruins the very essence we're pursuing; individualistic expression. If our only way of defining ourselves is by immediate association with somebody else, then our pursuit is a senseless one.
Some people hack their way around this problem by adding exceptions:
I'm a Christian but I respect and appreciate everyone no matter their beliefs but I believe God is our only savior but everybody is different...
I'm an atheist but I respect and appreciate everyone no matter their beliefs but I believe God is a false construct ruining our world but...
Isn't this a beautiful circulos vitiosus? A never ending attempt at explaining a label so intense in its connotation that makes me ask: are the labels even useful in the every-day cognitive process? Seems like they have lost its original purpose, becoming a vehicle of misunderstanding, rather than understanding humans.
Don't label people and do not let be labeled; just say your name and what you're grateful for today.