If you know me well enough, you know that I have a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. This makes people watching extra interesting for me. I love to watch how people interact in the everyday life that goes on around all of us.
Recently, I have been thinking about labels and how we all live with labels. We are born and given our first label, our given name. After that, our labels tend to be very varied.
We go through grade school trying to get the “right” kind of label that we can live with. Some are looking for the jock title, but others are looking for the band geek. However, some are just looking for one that won’t get them beat up or teased constantly.
As we continue through our schooling career, our labels could shift. We can continue with the one that we had in grade school, but we could get a new one or additional one. We may be labeled a bookworm, a nerd, or of a negative sexual nature. Some of these are unfortunate, but others are ones that we learn to live with because it’s “not so bad”.
I have recently learned that some labels get help that we might need to get through our schooling, social, or everyday life. These are usually the ones that people start with, “They were diagnosed with…” It might be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism, Dislexia, Downsyndrome, etc. Some of these labels could be caused by genetics, but they can also be caused by life experiences. For example, I know a young lad that was running through the house with a toothbrush in his mouth. He tripped, which caused the toothbrush to cause trama to his soft palate. This has caused a lot of speech issues, which his mother is usually the only person who can understand him. Because of the slurred speech this has caused, he is often labeled in school class by his peers as “retarded,” but yet he can understand everything, just can’t put a voice to his thoughts very well.
How we get the labels, does not have to define us. These labels can be a platform to be able to teach those around us of the truth and struggles that we deal with daily because of these labels. There are helps that we can access that can get us through those struggles. We can take charge of our life and how we live it if we just understood ourselves and learn to understand others. It is that easy!
As Ellen Degeneres says, “Be kind to one another!”