Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deep Thoughts about Personal Labels

"Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature,nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable."
~Helen Keller

I was having some deep thoughts yesterday, something that has been happening more and more frequently of late, and I came to the realization that I spent way to much time labeling things. Society conditioning has convinced most of our race that every one and thing must be neatly labeled and placed in appropriate boxes. Look at relationships for example: there are a progression of labels that help people figure out how to relate to each other, particularly in social situations. They include acquaintance, friend, best friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, partner, spouse, ex, and so on. Each of those labels is applied to attempt to define how you relate to each other, and can be changed if the relationship changes.

I have friends in my age group (pre-30 but getting scarily close!) who are getting very upset because their label of "single" or "girlfriend" has not changed to "wife" yet, but it occurred to me that this is just another label tragedy. Shouldn't the most important thing to focus on be your connection, not what you call your relationship?

So what if there were no labels? What if you related to people based on who they actually are, not how you are attempting to define them?

There is societal security in labels: it is an easy way for people to relate to you and define you. And it is really sad because that label, if you buy into it, stops you from exploring who you are and lets you place other people in limited categories as well.

How can life be a daring adventure if you spend your time trying safely categorize and label the people in your life?

Revel in our interconnectivity and let the adventure begin!

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