Ruminations: Are Labels Violent?

In a recent post, I argued that labels can create a sense of community — and are therefore beneficial in some ways. Stereotypes, on the other hand, are problematic, because they restrict how we behave (girls have to be feminine, boys must like sports, etc.).

I’m a firm believer in questioning my opinions on a regular basis — and re-thinking them, if need be. The following is a quote from writer and philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti, who most definitely disagrees with me on labels:

Quote on labels by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti argues that in order to understand humanity, we need to stop labeling ourselves and each other. He makes a powerful point: conflicts begin with an us versus them mentality, when we separate ourselves from “the other.” This otherness can take the form of a different religion, nationality, gender, or race — it was exactly this mentality, according to thinker Edward SaΓ―d, that led Americans to separate themselves from the Middle East after the 9/11 attacks. The same can be said about Hitler’s treatment of Jews in WWII.

In literature, readers of Joseph Conrad’s novel The Heart of Darkness often analyze the juxtaposition of self and other in Marlow’s journey of self-discovery (in fact, most literary representations like this require binary opposites).

Does this mean that all labels are inherently evil and bad? Krishnamurti thinks so. He draws a direct line from labels to separation to violence. Instead of seeing the world as us versus them, he urges us to see it as a collective “us” in order to better understand humanity.

But is Krishnamurti right? Do labels encourage separation, and therefore violence, or are they less powerful than he thought? What do you think?

 

New to the Ruminations series? These posts are short musings on various quotes, music, literature, etc., intended to start conversations. You can check out the first Ruminations post here.

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59 thoughts on “Ruminations: Are Labels Violent?

  1. A very interesting post and a really interesting quote from Krishnamurti. I can definitely see where he is coming from and that any label automatically creates a separation from other people by saying I am a certain way or I fall into a certain group of people and you don’t so go over there away from us. But at the same I would say similar to you that labels can give us a place of belonging and community, being a Christian or Comic Book or Movie enthusiast creates cultures where I can connect with people and communities of people with similar interests and although others may identify with other ‘labels’, the separation and ‘violence’ is dependent on how we react to and treat other people that identify with another label. As a comic book lover and ‘geek’ I may not automatically fall under the same labels as a Football enthusiast and ‘jock’ but I can still show love, honor, dignity and respect to the person. As a Christian my beliefs are core of who I am but I can still respond with love and respect to someone who is atheist, muslim or homosexual even though our beliefs do not naturally fit.
    It isn’t necessarily about the label as much how we as humanity respond to someone based upon that label.

    Liked by 3 people

    • “As a comic book lover and β€˜geek’ I may not automatically fall under the same labels as a Football enthusiast and β€˜jock’ but I can still show love, honor, dignity and respect to the person.”

      I think this is the most important thing — recognizing others may be different, and then accepting them and treating them properly. This isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when someone’s beliefs differ drastically from your own, but I think acceptance and respect are the healthiest choice — plus I like it when other people can diplomatically challenge my thoughts and beliefs. It’s a great way to grow as a person, even I disagree, because I can now see the world through another person’s eyes.

      Thanks for commenting πŸ™‚ Personally, I think the truth lies between Krishnamurti’s negative opinion and my previous all-positive one; I think your response sums it up perfectly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooh, this definitely makes for an interesting early morning read!
    I see what Krishnamurti is saying and it makes sense but I feel as though he is forgetting that we are only human, we are not robots. We are compelled to build communities and communities require labels sometimes… like what C&TC is saying… these labels bring us comfort and a sense of belonging, without these who knows what damage we could have the potential to cause each other.
    I think pride is another factor, I am proud to be English, I would also be proud to be Indian or American or bloody Kazakstani if these places were my homes purely because it is in my human nature to love the place that has shaped me and defend it to some degree, this doesn’t mean I believe my country is better, it’s just mine…
    On a slight tangent, boyfriend is currently reading Richard Dawkins – The God Delusion and I cannot stand it. I would consider myself an Atheist but I in no way advocate the way he has dedicated his life to tearing down others beliefs. I see that religion has caused many wars and much bloodshed but the good that it brings to millions of people on an individual basis is not something that should ever be questioned or taken away. I feel like most of us normal, functioning, rational human beings have a level of respect for one another’s labels that we do not segregate ourselves by them.
    Jeez, sorry for the rambling…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly — like you said, labels are required in some cases. Imagine trying to go to school but not being sure which one to attend because the difference between high school, middle school, and elementary school wasn’t labeled. It would be incredibly inconvenient to live in a 100% unlabelled society!
      Haven’t read The God Delusion, but anything meant to tear apart others’ beliefs would probably give me the same uneasy feeling — I’m a huge proponent of civil debate, where two people discuss opposing ideas but still walk away friends after.
      And ramble away! I appreciate all comments, regardless of length, so thank you! πŸ™‚

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  3. This is seriously powerful…. I should have come across this earlier… I don’t know why but I seriously have high regards for people who tend to question things like these…. It is true that labels can help create a sense of community as they show where you belong to….. After reading what krishnamurthy said, even I started thinking on those lines… We are born this way and maybe that is the reason we tend to label ourselves..Not to separate ourselves from rest of the mankind, but to hold onto our identity..
    Either way, thankyou for mentioning this..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I disagree. As a Christian, it isn’t about us vs them. I won’t begrudge a person for their choice of faith, even if I strongly disagree with that choice.

    Does this mean I’ll remain silent about it? No. The most unloving thing one can do is keep silent when someone is doing wrong.

    However, when I speak up, I’m not seeking to cause conflict. I’m seeking to bring to someone’s attention that their decision isn’t just wrong, its consequences are horrific. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t use the energy it takes to speak up.

    While many like to interpret this as us vs them, it isn’t. Every faith transcends “labels”. Each and every faith is a way of life, an identity and requires total devotion from its practitioners.

    For some, especially Christianity and Islam, there is a doctrinal drive to convert others. We’re required to share the Word, per Scripture.

    This isn’t meant to drive a wedge between people, even if it generally ends up doing just that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand where you’re coming from when you say that silence is worst thing to do when someone is doing something wrong. I think it’s great to speak up and discuss things with someone you care about. I think the most important thing, though, is your tone in those conversations — if we can begin in a loving place, we can end in one, even if we disagree. But if that conversation becomes hostile, people become defensive, and then I’m not sure how helpful the conversation truly is.

      The key to many things, I think, is love.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, of course love is the best place to start. The thing is, many people don’t realize that just speaking up is an act of love, especially when one is speaking to a stranger.

        The other thing is, oftentimes truth requires that one be less than gentle. For example, the Scriptures are clear that there are only two directions one will go after they die.

        If they lived their lives in Christ, constantly seeking relationship with Him, then they will enter the Kingdom of God. Even if they have what’s known as a deathbed conversion, they still enter the Kingdom.

        However, if they die without ever having accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, then they will go to Hell. There’s no middle road in any part of that. Jesus states it clearly when He says, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. None come to the Father, except through me.”

        Now, I don’t know about you, but I can’t come up with anything resembling a kinder or more gentle way to say that. That’s the thing about Truth.

        Sometimes Truth can be harsh and painful, but it doesn’t compare to what would happen if one goes through their entire life without ever hearing it. That’s why it’s so important to speak up.

        Scripture also encourages us to love our enemies and even strangers. It’s easy to love your friends and family, but to love someone you dislike or don’t even know, that’s the challenge. To love someone means that you can speak out against one’s misdeed, while still showing kindness and respect. In short, hate the Sin, but love the sinner.

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      • “To love someone means that you can speak out against one’s misdeed, while still showing kindness and respect.”

        The key to everything, I think, is in this sentence πŸ™‚

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    • In some situations, yes — imagine how ineffective discipline would be if parents never spoke harshly to their kids! Sometimes we need that push in order to think about our decisions and grow. I think we are obligated to talk to our friends and family when they are in a bad situation or on the verge of making an unhealthy decision — a support system is ineffective if it doesn’t help! The tough part, I think, is figuring out which situations need a harsher tone, and which ones would be better off in a kinder tone, because when people become defensive, sometimes we cannot reach them.

      I appreciate you sharing all of your thoughts, and I’m sure other readers do as well! Good, back-and-forth discussion can be hard to come by.

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      • I’ll be honest, I’d forgotten about this conversation. Life has been really busy, as I’ve started a new job, in addition to dealing with prodigious numbers of offspring, all of whom seek really hard to emulate Daddy’s more stubborn nature. (Side note: Number 10 is due June 30)

        I agree with you, a good back and forth exchange is very hard to come by. Lately, my opposition seems content to play by pre-school rules; that is, they’re content to stick out their tongues and call names.

        Earlier, I was listening to someone speak about his theory on why so many children suffer from depression these days, as opposed to times past. The idea he put out is that too many children are given whatever they want, without the requirement of earning it.

        What he believes is, when someone is provided with everything they want, without actually earning it, their material possessions are utterly meaningless. What’s more, without the sense of accomplishment one derives from earning a living, their life begins to lose meaning.

        What brought this to mind was your comment about the effectiveness of too soft discipline on a child. It’s actually a remarkable point you’ve made.

        It’s true, if you’re too soft, your child will lose respect and begin to take advantage of you. “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. Unfortunately, Scripture also warns about being too harsh, so it’s clear a balance must be found.

        Yes, we are obligated to speak to loved ones when they’re doing wrong. However, Scripture says we’re to also love our enemies and those we don’t even know, which means we’re obligated to speak up to them as well.

        I agree that a certain amount of tact and discernment is required when speaking up, but my point still stands. There are certain things that one simply can’t sugarcoat.

        One example is delivering a death notice. There isn’t a nice, gentle way to deliver such news. There’s simply the bad way, and the worse way. I’ve had to deliver those kinds of news, and there just isn’t a nice way to do it. It always ends with someone in tears, and my heart breaking for them.

        Of course, there’s also the example I provided before. Jesus said, in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. None come to the Father, but by Me.” If He’s the only way to the Father, that makes clear what the alternative is.

        There is no nice way of saying it. There’s only the bad way, and the worse way. We’ve all seen the worse way, which is someone being hateful and disrespectful, informing you that the way you’re walking through life will only end in hellfire and damnation.

        The bad way is, “If you don’t confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, you’re trip into the afterlife will be most unpleasant.” No matter which way you choose to go, you’re still laying uncomfortable Truth at someone’s feet.

        It’s unfortunate that this is the point where so many Christians are erroneously labeled as “intolerant”, “hateful”, “bigoted”, etc. I mean, it makes sense, given that most people still operate under the mistaken impression that love and hate are opposites; when the actual opposite of love is indifference. However, too many good conversations have been spoiled by someone incapable of disagreeing properly.

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      • “What he believes is, when someone is provided with everything they want, without actually earning it, their material possessions are utterly meaningless. What’s more, without the sense of accomplishment one derives from earning a living, their life begins to lose meaning.”
        That’s an incredibly interesting theory. I hadn’t heard that before, but I think it makes sense — if we’re going to be given everything we want without trying much/at all, what IS the point? Half of the “fun” in life is working for your rewards (or, this is true in my experience, at least).

        “I’ve had to deliver those kinds of news, and there just isn’t a nice way to do it. It always ends with someone in tears, and my heart breaking for them.”
        I give you a lot of credit for being able to do this! I had to do it once myself when my grandfather passed away, and it was incredibly difficult.

        “I mean, it makes sense, given that most people still operate under the mistaken impression that love and hate are opposites; when the actual opposite of love is indifference.”
        LOVE THIS. I tell people this all the time πŸ™‚

        I think the negative views of Christianity stem from extreme groups like the Westboro Baptist Church or from the church’s treatment of the LGBT community. I have friends who identify within that community, and it breaks my heart to hear about the bullying that they’ve experienced from religious and non-religious people alike. Though my own relationship with religion is strained at times, one of the things I like about Christianity is Jesus’s commandment for us to love each other. Not to love only other Christians, or only our family, etc. (I think the verse is John 13:34, at least, that’s what the Internet says)

        Regardless of our potentially differing opinions, thank you for being the sort of person who can have a discussion without getting defensive/upset πŸ™‚ I think I’ll need to write a post on this soon — the Art of Disagreeing, perhaps πŸ˜‰

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      • On Westboro…theologically speaking, they’re correct and incorrect all at the same time. Really, they’re just assholes abusing the First Amendment, in an effort to spread Truth. Not exactly the best method. The idea that one can catch more flies with honey than vinegar is completely foreign to them.

        On the LGBT issue, Scripture defines homosexual activity and transgendered behavior as an abomination. Now, that isn’t the evangelicals speaking, its God. I could no more change that than I could change my own species.

        Now, this is actually a point where my wife and I differ, when it comes to Scripture. I was taught to hate the sin, but love the sinner. She tends to be a little more hard-line about it.

        While I am much more gracious about people rejecting the Word, she isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, she won’t be rude about it, but she still doesn’t make any effort to hide what she thinks of a matter, either.

        Then again, I’m able to mourn the passing of a stranger, and she isn’t. This has caused her to experience no small amount of puzzlement, as she thinks there might be something wrong with her. I don’t know how to tell her that my sense of empathy is probably over-developed.

        Setting the abomination factor aside, I can’t ever abide bullying. I won’t accept it from my church, my children or my society. It’s as simple as that.

        So, where does that leave us, in terms of how to share Jesus’ message? I mean, Truth occasionally requires a bit of the band-aid treatment, if you get my meaning.

        It’s simple, actually. In Matthew 10:5-15, He gave His disciples detailed instructions on how they’re to spread the Word.

        One of the things He told them was that they were to enter a town or dwelling and speak peace into it. If the peace was rejected, they were to move on.

        The interesting feature of those instructions was where He said that they were to knock the dirt off their sandals before moving on. This is key.

        Many people read that and mistakenly interpret it as some hippy-dippy, rainbows and unicorns thing. What they fail to realize is that knocking the dirt off one’s feet, when leaving a given area is a gesture of contempt.

        That action is basically telling someone that the ground they’ve trod on isn’t worthy of them. That’s a huge thing, especially in light of the next verse, in which Jesus states that those who reject His message will suffer a fate worse than Sodom and Gomorrah, on the Day of Judgement. (Side note: Why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?)

        So, there’s permission to show silent contempt, but there’s more to it. He also showed open contempt to the Pharisees and Sadducees, in that He publicly called them out on their Sin, and also called them many names, such as “hypocrites” and “vipers”.

        That can’t be ignored, given that He’s our pattern of conduct. As the saying goes, Christians must be as Christ-like as we can be, knowing that we will fall short.

        This goes back to what I was saying about there only being a bad way and a worse way to speak most Truth. The bad way is, “God has decreed that your lifestyle is an abomination, that it’s sexually immoral and I can’t support that, because I’d rather be right before Him and wrong before you, than the other way around. He made clear thousands of years ago that these things are an abomination in His sight, and He is unchanging. You must repent, if you wish to enter His Kingdom on the Day of Judgement, because He won’t make any exceptions. He is first and foremost Holy, which means He can’t abide any Sin in His presence.”

        Thankfully, the people at Westboro Baptist Church have graciously chosen to provide the perfect example of the worse way to state that message. Are both methods technically correct? Yes. However, which one do you think people are more apt to listen to?

        On the topic of John 13:34, you got it right. He commanded us to love everyone. However, what’s involved in loving someone? Speaking from experience, loving someone includes letting them know when they’re doing wrong, sacrificing something for them and even being willing to lay down one’s life. (John 15:13)

        Contrary to popular belief, love isn’t just an emotion, it’s an action; a verb. To love, right? It’s something that must be demonstrated every waking moment of every day, not just spoken a few times throughout the day.

        That’s why love’s opposite is indifference, rather than hatred. Indifference denotes a lack of caring and a lack of willingness to sacrifice anything for someone or something.

        By all means, I absolutely encourage you to write a post about it. Might I suggest that you call it, “How to Disagree Properly”? πŸ˜‚

        Have you, by any chance, been over to my page lately?

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  5. So true and insightful. You’re writing is extremely thoughtful, you offer such a fresh perspective.
    I found you on Community pool, it is such a great way to discover what other bloggers are doing creatively with their blogs. I was wondering if it was possible for you to read one of my blogs at https://thebluntstudent.wordpress.com and comment on it. I’ve just started out and would love to get some feedback on my writing.

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  6. For me, labels are okay, division is okay, everything is okay. What’s not okay is being judgemental and not respecting those who differ from you. I think that’s where all the evil comes from really, and not from the division it self. For example, with all the fashion trends on social media, you do you girl, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to wear the same outfit or tell you how to dress. Hope I got my point across πŸ™‚

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  7. Hi Natalie, a really interesting and thought provoking post. Here’s my thoughts:

    I agree with you that labels create a sense of community, take it from me – I am on the autism spectrum and it’s nice to know that there are many others out there that have the same diagnosis as me. They would understand that there are those times where we prefer not to be social, and withdraw into our own world and be left alone there. I know that these individuals couldn’t fix my issues, but it is reassuring to know that I am not alone with this label – and it also gives me some confidence as to what kinds of people I might get along with really well. It’s as my best friend said: if I am to find a special girl, then the girl I might most likely connect with is a nerdy one! And I wouldn’t mind betting she is right there. I don’t see a label of autism as a negative thing (though, initially I did!), nor would I see how it could lead me to become violent.

    However by contrast, I know some people who find labels to be incredibly offensive and stigmatizing. But here I think the issue is simply that there are different strokes for different folks. I can understand and respect that some people might think that labeling someone schizophrenic for example is an awful thing to do. Some people just don’t appreciate being put in a box, so to speak. But each person interprets things different and they understand what it means to label someone in their own way. Some people choose to see this “naming convention” as a very mundane and innocent process. It’s simply what we as humans do to make sense of things, and do what our brains are hard wired to do — rationalize the environment as best we can.

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    • A wonderful response! πŸ™‚ I think you hit all the key points on both sides of the argument, and I agree with you! Labels are great when they foster community — the problem with them comes when they exclude others, or lead group A to treat group B poorly because they’re different. This bullying environment is the true problem, where perhaps the label itself isn’t.

      Props to you for embracing your label! That can be an incredibly tough thing to do, but you sound happy, and that’s a wonderful thing. Thanks so much for commenting! I wish you all the best πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I personally do not like labels and it is probaly because I am in the education field. Labels are dangerous to the self-esteem of children. I also don’t particularly like their application in the health field either. A person has diabetes but is not a diabetic. It is one thing to use descriptive terminology to describe our attributes but quite another when these descriptors become identity markers. That is how stereotypes are spawned. Person first language may seem like an argument of semantics but it is the difference between seeing a person as human first and his/her unique attributes second.

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    • Very true — I don’t think that’s a matter of semantics. What you’re saying makes sense: we need words to describe our conditions, but we don’t need to be pigeonholed into those labels (for example, if someone has diabetes, image how difficult it would be to get insulin, for example, without having the label “diabetes”!) That said, a person is more than his or her diagnosis.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This post reminded me of what I discussed with my sister just this morning.

    It is not so much the labels but the perception of these labels. It is important for us to know who we are, for identity at the least and also to know what in ourselves we need to improve. It is when people attach negative connotations to labels that give a particular label a bad name. If we accept that so and so is such and such, and we accept that it is different from what we are, then the labeling is a non-issue.

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  10. I find this really interesting. However, I have to disagree with Krishnamurti. Labels aren’t inherently harmful. There seems to be the supposition that separation is inherently evil. This is not the case. We take pride in being unique. Differences can bring unity. The assumption that otherness warrants rejection is a dangerous notion. For example the name given to an individual from birth, or chosen by them, serves as an aid. There may be things, assumptions, attached to it however everything can be redefined as need be on a pragmatic basis. Bob the white, British cartoon should have no feelings of violence towards the great black, Rastafarian singer/activist because he has the added label of Marley attached.

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    • “For example the name given to an individual from birth, or chosen by them, serves as an aid.”

      Very true. Can you imagine a parent going to school to pick up their child — and not being able to find them because no one has names? Labels are definitely useful in some situations. It seems to me that the stereotypes associated with some labels are what’s more “dangerous,” so to speak.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

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  11. Krishnamurti’s thought process is certainly an interesting way of viewing labels that I hadn’t really thought of before. But I do disagree. Mankind in general is believed to have survived on the idea of “survival of the fittest” however as we evolved (and if we haven’t we certainly have no right to call ourselves different from other animals) we have realized community and empathy is what humanity is to be. Therefore when we are born, we are lone wolves isolated from others but as we find commonality with other humans, we create labels almost as a way to comfort each other. That maybe we are not all that different after all.
    Sorry I tend to ramble a bit but I am really glad I came across your post. Definitely food for thought and in this day and age we could all do with a little extra thinking πŸ™‚
    A thought from,
    Those Pointless Thoughts

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    • Definitely. Imagine how difficult it would be to find other bloggers if we had no way to describe ourselves as bloggers! It seems that stereotypes are what complicate matters, because those tend to box people in more than labels themselves do.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

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  12. In a way, I think he is right. Labels do seperate people, and seperation creates violence. But violence takes many forms. Violence is commonly also part of unity in form of supression. Gender violence, social repression, child abuse or simply violence for hierarchy is common inside these labeled communities. Two types of labels is probably nescesary to combat this kind of violence: abuser and abused, supresser and supressed.

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  13. I can understand this rationale somewhat, but I do not agree that every single label is bad or violent. In its purest form, it is a tool of identity. We have some many differences that give us a sense of individuality. A unique combination of values and opinions for each person. I myself am a Christian and do not believe it is violent to be labeled as a Christian. Feel free to to check out my current and upcoming theological posts! I followed you!

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    • “In its purest form, it is a tool of identity.”

      Imagine how hard it would be to find a grocery store if none of the stores were labelled! It would be pure madness. Labels become dangerous, it seems, only when we use them to exclude others.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I find labels to be a little bit separating. That being said, I also understand that labels and categorizing things is human nature, and probably heavily contributed to our progression as a species.

    But my personal view on it is that, being labeled one thing alienates those who are(n’t) labeled that thing. Popular kids, nerds, “”, girl, boy, “real women”, “real men”, religious, atheist, etc.. I wish more people could see–first and foremost–that we’re all humans and we’re all struggling for the same things. Labels come in handy when you want to find a community of like-minded people, but I just wish that finding like-minded people didn’t lead to essentially shunning not-like-minded people.

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    • “Labels come in handy when you want to find a community of like-minded people, but I just wish that finding like-minded people didn’t lead to essentially shunning not-like-minded people.”

      Well said! I don’t think labels are either all good or all bad — like many things, they occupy a shade of gray in-between.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  15. A very interesting and thought-provoking piece, and I really like that you have presented such a balanced argument! I think that this issue is very difficult to resolve, but ultimately I would say that the difference lies in whether or not labels are used subjectively or objectively. If someone wants to identify with a certain label because they find it empowering or inclusive, it can only be positive for that person to gain this sense of community. Problems arise, however, when others attribute labels to people from an outsider’s perspective, without their consent and often based on prejudices. We cannot say how others want to identify themselves, but it’s all too easy to let our assumptions dictate how we treat one another. Great read, thanks!

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    • I don’t think it’s an easy issue, either — like you said, labels can be both empowering and hurtful. Perhaps a somewhat easy solution is to treat everyone as kindly as possible, regardless of labels πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. That’s the greatest elephant in the room(world). Everybody wants to be a part of a community rather than the whole human race as a whole. Even the smarted want to be separated/classified as smart men(Which doesn’t even include a particular race/nationality/religion)
    Krishnamurti’s words are somewhat acceptable, but well, its something that would take a long time to be eradicated.

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  17. I hated labels anyway. No one today is purely one thing. Labels like Indian, or woman, or Muslim, or American are not more than starting-points, which if followed into actual experience for only a moment are quickly left behind. Imperialism consolidated the mixture of cultures and identities on a global scale. But its worst and most paradoxical gift was to allow people to believe that they were only, mainly, exclusively, white, or Black, or Western, or Oriental. Yet just as human beings make their own history, they also make their cultures and ethnic identities. No one can deny the persisting continuities of long traditions, sustained habitations, national languages, and cultural geographies, but there seems no reason except fear and prejudice to keep insisting on their separation and distinctiveness, as if that was all human life was about.

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  18. Hi Natalie. This can get so confusing. We wont “find” ourselves if we don’t give ourselves labels first and go against the others in order to learn our value. what I think is that after we attach “vs the world” after our labels, we need to see what makes us common with one another, come back to the group and bring that value back which is uncommon and can only be found in us for the benefit of everyone.

    so making labels our end all and be all is the real evil. just my thoughts…

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    • You’re right — things WOULD get confusing without labels! It seems like labels can be both good and bad, like most things in life.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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