About Avoiding Labels
The only thing I have ever run away from in life is labeling. I have this neurotic aversion to being labeled, judged or pegged into a constricted personality-type. It’s the terror of being pigeon-holed that keeps me running like Roger Bannister away from labels. Slap one on…and what if it won’t come off??? This is why ‘branding’ in the world of marketing is a challenge for me. I just don’t fit. I suspect many of you might feel as if you don’t fit either…and that is a VERY good thing (IMHO).
Thankfully, you and I have far greater forces working for us than the powers of PR. We have a divine design on our side. We have the variability of the Universe working on behalf of our uniqueness. Our world, our galaxy, our lives….these are all highly diverse. So diverse that labeling and square-pegging are near impossible.
I mean, how can you contain something so monumentally awesome as…let’s say….the Andes mountains, or the Grand Canyon, or the intricacies you experience with your children, or a bit of basil seed thrusting itself out of the soil to reach the sun? There are so many colorful threads in our lives – it’s just plain silly to water down our experiences with stupid labels and stereotypes.
Dropping Labels for Global Good
If you haven’t guessed by now…I’m on a right-good rant. I’m pretty gosh-darned sick of stereotypes, conformity, labels and what “should be”. I say we should be who we are without compromise.
Of course, my practical side will admonish acting out in unhealthy ways. I mean….we do live in a society, and that entails living within certain parameters. Perhaps we might all aspire to be wildly special in an effort to uplift humankind. Meaning….what if we strived to be unique and special with a goal to help our community, our society, our Mother Earth?
We’ve all run into people who behave weirdly for the sake of being weird. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that…but what is the purpose? I’m suggesting we take our diverse, beautiful perspectives and apply them to the world at large. Let’s gather up our quirkiness & weirdnesses. Let’s take all our odd ways and channel them into a focused beam of delight that pours out in our families, our communities, our social circles, our workplaces.
I say to heck with labels. None of us are capable of being fitted with a trite definition. We’re not soup cans, for crying out loud. We’re not a list of ingredients or a tally of calories. We are human. We are massive. I’ll go so far and say we are beyond our capacity to understand our potential. I’m a big fan of the human potential movement. I think all of us (self, included) are far more capable of moving beyond the mundane than we realize.
Tips to Embracing Individuality
(and avoiding labels)
What’s my point to all this? As always…I have bullet points to summarize (just love those bullet points!):
- Do not cow-tow to a label. Just because a parent, a friend or someone you respect dubbed you as this, that or the other – it does NOT imply the truth. The truth is – you are infinite. You are pure potential. You are worthy. You are a freaking rocket of expression. Launch out of those stupid labels. You are NOT what people define you as. You are what YOU dream yourself to be. Remember that. Embrace that.
- Your unorthodoxy is an asset. Don’t allow anyone to tell you differently. My friend’s Aunt Thelma makes crafts out of cat hair. I think that is weird but very awesome. Her designs are whimsical and fun. Is it proper? Is it conventional? Perhaps not. But Aunt Thelma provides warmth to the Senior Center in Wisconsin, and I tell you – those folks love her cat-hair crafts! It’s the thought involved. It’s ingenuity. It’s the love and care in what we do that count. Be brave in your uniqueness. Dare to give. Dare to love. Dare to be different.
- If you think no one understands you…then accept that, because you’re probably right. You don’t need the understanding of others to be your exquisitely awesome self. All you need is belief in yourself. I tell you – the kindling of your own soul is the only fuel you need to stand out and make a difference.
- Okay…so maybe you have problems. Goodness knows I have problems too. They are not insurmountable. In fact, many of our problems provide a fabulous platform for extraordinary growth, healing, and perspective. When we stretch our imaginations to make our problems assets – that’s the real deal. It’s uncanny how our conflict can work in our favor. Don’t down-trod yourself if you have an affliction. Rather, try to turn that negative into a positive. Just ponder it. You might be surprised how a perceived handicap can evolve into a major benefit to you, your community and beyond.
- Never get pegged. I think the foremost irritation for me is observing media, and seeing all the “follow the leader” baloney. I don’t think humans were meant to follow. We are brilliant creations. We are the utmost in terms of ability, potential and creativity. Seeing my fellow humans following the herd just grinds me. We are so much more than what society deems us. We are capable of so much. It’s those stupid pegs that get us in a rut of disbelief about our ability. Don’t get pegged!
Well, my friends, I don’t know if you feel better after this rant, but I certainly do.
Thank you for allowing me this space to spew out my frustration. And thank you for your open-mindedness.
In the end…just be YOU! There is no one alive on this planet like you. The world needs you. Your unusualness, your difference, your special view – we all need you.
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