In a meet up, when I was prompted to introduce myself, I felt utterly incapable. I suddenly realized the vastness of my being and that this vastness was indescribable in words. I realized the limitation of an introduction.
In the past, my typical introduction would involve announcing my name, my ethnicity, my profession and the place I lived in. The labels that I earlier used to define myself, now seemed to attempt to limit that vastness so much that they were in reality trying to belittle my self in vain. Not only those labels failed at defining my self, the one who experiences everything, but it failed even to express my experiences, and the bits of truth I had realized about myself and the world.
Whenever we talk about our self, we talk as if labels is the most important thing about us. We not only define our self with labels but completely rely on them to provide us an identity. Identifying with increasing number of labels makes us feel bigger and provides us a false sense of knowing ourselves better. In reality, we are covering our self with yet another label and moving farther away from who we are.
The way we treat ourselves is the way we treat people. We judge and treat people according to the labels they associate with themselves or we associate with them. When we rely so much on associating people with labels, we have no way of knowing who they are. Our connection with them is superficial and sometimes marred with negativity due to the negative labels that we have attached to their images in our mind. These images are not who they are – they are limitless just like us and cannot be captured by images and labels.
The only chance we have of realizing our true self is by not identifying ourselves with these labels even though we may need to use them in the physical world to define and to introduce ourselves to the world; and the only way of wholeheartedly connecting with people is not to associate them with images and labels, even if they do it themselves.
2 Replies to “The Danger of Labels”
Vow!!! I felt similar when I had to write my resume recently….Yes, we label ourselves and you know, it’s good we are struck by this thought.
Yeah, we label everyone and everything but it’s good to remind ourselves that labels can’t contain us.