Where did labels come from? Labeling contributes to some of the deepest problems that face our species. Labels are often used to identify, differentiate, and separate, often with the intent to disconnect us from the one source.
Where did the label Christian, Muslim, Black, White, Gay, Straight, Fat, Skinny, Rich and Poor come from? People love to label. They use other labels such as bully, nerd, hippe, slut, good girl, bad boy, and the list goes on. Is it necessary to label people?
We are all essentially the same but we find comfort and security being associated with a group, especially when we are fearful and vulnerable, and do not feel grounded in our own skin.
Are we true to our labels?
It has always been a mystery to me how a devout gay Catholic could stand by his or her faith, knowing that the Catholic faith teaches strongly against the gay lifestyle. I have also wondered how someone who calls themselves a Christian can lie, cheat, steal, gossip, create drama, abuse their bodies, or have hatred in their heart toward others when it all goes against the teachings of the Christian faith? How can the rich look down on someone they have labeled poor? How can an African-American who has been the victim of racism and prejudice, continue to hold onto their own prejudice ideas and thoughts about other groups of people? This gives very little meaning to labels when I think of them in this context. I see them often being used to judge others who associate with a different label.
It is my belief that labels are man-made. God has nothing to do with labels. He created us ALL equally. Man came up with the name Christian. Man came up with the name Muslim. Man came up with the names Gay and Straight. Labels serve mainly to divide us. When we label ourselves a certain thing, we immediately set ourselves apart from others who are not that thing.
What would happen if we all starting seeing every human as part of God’s creation? Not a Muslim, not a gay man, not a Catholic, not a transgender, not a black man, not a Buddhist, but a human that is part of the One Divine Source. Could it change the way we feel about others and create more love and togetherness in this world?
There is so much hate in our world right now. Even here in our country with the current political environment, there is much hate and name calling using many labels. The name calling and labeling is disturbing to me. What is more disturbing is seeing the re-posting of all the hate filled comments on Facebook and other social media outlets. More than ever, I believe it is a time for us all to practice loving behaviors and stop supporting the hatred.
I make a commitment to pause and ask myself, do my actions support love and inclusion or do they promote hatred and division in any way? Am I part of the solution or do I contribute to the problem? I commit to see ALL beings as a beautiful part of God. I make a commitment to only allow love to dwell in me. No thoughts of division.
I do not subscribe to the notion that one is right while others are wrong.
What are your thoughts when you see a Muslim? Do you see the label or the person? What are your thoughts when you see someone of a different race? Do you see their race or do you see the person that God created? What are your thoughts when you see 2 people of the same gender holding hands? Do you judge them based on the gay label or do you see them as part of the same creation you belong to?
One by one we can make a difference in our world by simply dropping the labels and being an example of loving kindness toward ALL regardless of what label they identify with.
Next time you find yourself using a label, remember we’re all not so different after all. We all just want to be accepted, understood, respected, and loved for who we are.
Until next time,
Peace and blessings