Imagine mistaking the salt for sugar; your morning cup of coffee would hardly taste appealing with a dose of two teaspoons of salt, not to mention a sprinkling of salt on your cereal!
Hypothetically, if labels were banned en masse, surely our other senses would kick in, particularly our sense of smell. And surely our eyes would train themselves into analysing the appearance of the contents of the jars, rather than merely reading the name written on the label.
Indeed, labels ensure we clean our teeth with a tube of toothpaste, rather than a tube of glue and there is never any danger of mistakenly topping the oil up in our car with a bottle of cordial!
Society as we know it would suffer a tremendous loss, without the use of fashion labels. Imagine, if you will, the dent in the economy without labels on the clothing of the fashion high-flyers. Isn’t it common knowledge that an impressive “name” label, when attached to an item of clothing, increases its value no end?
I have begun to suspect that the populous of the world’s nations have become so engrossed in the utilising of labels that we are under threat of a brand new, world- wide epidemic, namely ~ “Label Overkill”; a disease which appears to be sweeping across the entire human race.
As it is with all contagious diseases, “Label Overkill” would have had quite simple origins, perhaps just the harmless placing of a label such as “daughter” or “son”. This, in turn, would have produced the likes of other labels; mother, father, husband, wife, auntie, uncle, grandmother, cousin, all extremely harmless in themselves. In fact, aren’t these the very labels we proudly flaunt to the multitudes?
But it doesn’t stop there. Labelling continues with boss, employee, neighbour, acquaintance, friend, foe, boyfriend, girlfriend…
Websites such as My Space and Facebook have a lot to answer for. Such sites are guilty of spreading this epidemic of label overkill. The information page on Facebook requests you choose from the following labels, to describe your situation; single, in a relationship, married, engaged, it’s complicated, widowed and (can you believe this?), in an open relationship.
Why isn’t “none of the above” included? Or “does it matter?” And really, whose business is it anyway? Oh, that’s right, Facebook are doing their “bit” to encourage “label overkill”, further spreading this epidemic.
In the interests of containing this disease I would like to suggest the following three points, as an alternative to labelling people.
- Upon first meeting a new person, expect the best from them. Whether the meeting is in person, over the telephone, by email, Facebook, Twitter or anywhere on the World Wide Web, assume they will be pleasant and friendly towards you, right from the get-go. What you are expecting is always what you get!
- Do not, under any circumstances, begin the immediate and endless process of mentally labelling people. Take your observations beyond the necessity of labels; see who the person really is ~ minus any form of labelling.
- Display yourself to the world as an approachable, open, friendly, easy-to-get-along-with kind of soul, minus the necessity of any self-inflicted labels.
When first meeting a new person and if your two souls make a connection, as time progresses you will gradually learn more about your new friend.
What I find to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of meeting new people in any other manner than the regular “face to face” way is that quite often the personal communication begins long before you even know what the person looks like, therefore the ability to place a mental label upon someone, especially regarding age, race, marital status or looks, is not available to them, or you.
You actually have the opportunity to get to know a person, before any labelling process begins…the first connection being with their soul!
When the inevitable labels begin to appear, what would you have your label say about you? Would you prefer a list of all of your physical attributes, along with who you are to everyone else in your life? Or would your “label” be more of a personal encompassing of “who you really are”, emitting the rays of light and caring from your soul?
I know which one I would prefer. 🙂