Some people believe in labels; those casual generalizations made about sets or subsets of people based on specific behavioral traits, based largely on bias.
‘Women are weak’; ‘Germans are hardworking’; ‘Nigerians cheat’ ‘ Made in China is inferior’; ‘Catholics are family- oriented’ and the list goes on.
The thing with labels–good or bad– is that they are strengthened by conformity and create complexes in the process. Good labels may give a sense of positivism, but usually good labels describe a group of people at another group’s expense. Good labels discriminate against others, giving the labeled a superiority complex or some kind of notion of being better that other groups of people. For instance, shoes labelled, ‘Made in Italy’ mean three things: Great leather, long lasting and well crafted. It also says that shoes made elsewhere may not connote all three qualities. Another, is the adult white male in America and how he has come to be associated with responsible citizenship while his black counterpart is associated with crime.
Bad labels, on the other hand, do the exact opposite. They make people underdogs and denigrate them. When generalizations are put out about us like: ‘Oh he is a failure like his father’ or ‘He is a black male, nothing good can come from him’ or ‘ She is a piece of white trash’ or ‘She’s fat and so she must be a slob,’ these generalizations kind of set a template for how the environment we are in expects us to behave, if for some reason we kind of fit the description of the set or subset the generalization is targeted at. This is why almost 40 percent of adult black males are or have experienced incarceration in the US.
But you know what? Determine never to conform to any generalizations about fat people, black people, white people, blondes, disabled people, nerdy people or whatever people society generalizes you by. Be you!
Remember that you are unique and that a label is someone’s opinion of you, based on their incorrect assumptions of people who look like you physically. I mean, what could be more wrong than such an opinion of you?
Trust me, you will be tempted to want to behave in the way your environment expects you to behave, if you accept their labels. So refuse their labels. Be that kind you; that law-abiding you; that you that never quits, the you that never gives in. Bring your extra-ordinary out for us to see.
Tell yourself: ‘I am not what people say I am…I am different; I am special; I am unique’ because you are.