I Don’t Like Labels.
Please don’t put me in a box.
When asked “what is your favorite (fill in the blank)” my usual response is “Do I have to pick just one?”
Why do people seem to so desperately want to put everyone else into nice tidy packages? Is it because we have so much difficulty with original thought that we need to rely on stereotypes? Are we afraid of blurry lines?
“Millennial.” “Baby Boomer.” “Evangelical.” “Socialist.” “Libertarian.”
What is my favorite color? I don’t know…I kind of like them all…why do you feel the need for me to pick just one? They all kind of complement each other anyway…look at a rainbow…
What is your favorite food? I don’t know…I love chocolate, pizza, coffee, beer, steak, salmon…the list goes on. And anyway, I seem to have some sort of a character flaw that has me go in spurts and overdose on a particular food for a week or two then move on…pizza several times a week for a couple weeks, then on to sausage and eggs until I move on to submarine sandwiches, then onto…well you get the point. Favorite is an ever changing and fluid concept anyway.
Why does the year you were born define you? Especially when no one can seem to agree on what years really make up the baby boomers…what if you are on the border line? What if some of your beliefs and attitudes line up with millennials and others with gen x?
And even though words have meaning…some have lost their meaning…or mean different things to almost everyone. Who can define what an evangelical really is anymore? Some words tend to cloud the conversation more than enlighten it.
Stereotypes and prejudices.
So, please don’t ask if I am a Republican or a Democrat. I think for myself thank you…and even though I am usually closer to one than the other, I actually consider myself an Independent — which is rarely offered as a choice when people ask you about your affiliation…(besides, at the end of the day neither of the two major parties seems to have made any real difference anyway — but that will have to be the subject of another post some time later).
When you ask that question, you really are not asking about me, my thoughts and ideas, but rather are trying to project some preconceived notions that you have about the kind of person in each party.
So…let’s try and stop feeling the need to put people in nice tidy little packages and start treating everyone as the unique person that they are.
I don’t like labels. Please don’t put me in a box. And I will try and do the same with you.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”