You know that itchy feeling when the tag or label on a shirt rubs you the wrong way? Or how about the warning on mattresses that threaten imprisonment if you pull it off?
Well, this short(er) blog is about removing different labels. When we put people into boxes or camps, it's just a polite way of stereotyping or siloing.
What is dangerous about labeling is that it narrows your view and creates the illusion that you have someone figured out. Or worse, that you cannot bear to hear them... or even worse, you think they are the enemy.
As Paul Graham writes, “The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.”
Labels, especially hateful ones, are pointless. They don't really point to anything but the labeler's small mind. As Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have written:
"Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people."
Labels close you off, limit opportunities and stymie communication.
Go ahead, then... like a bandaid that has long covered your own scar, rip the label off and let some fresh air come in.