Liberal or Conservative. . .Wealthy or Poor. . Labor or Management . . . Sunni or Shiite . . Straight or Gay. . . Male or Female . . .Us or Them
Labels can unite.
Labels can divide.
Labels can link us to social networks and to tribes where we find support and comfort.
Labels can serve as walls that alienate us from others.
Labels can give us shortcuts for letting others begin to know us and for knowing ourselves.
Labels can prevent us from coming to know others and ourselves more fully.
Labels can empower.
Labels can harm and even destroy.
Label can open doors and lock them.
Labels help us chart our passage through life in a society that has fewer and fewer rites of passage. Labels can keep us from moving on.
Labels are a blessing and a curse.
No one should be defined by a single label. We are all more than any one of our parts. We are even more than the sum of our parts. Labels can help us tell our own stories but they should be the start of a conversation not the end of accusation.
Now if you will excuse me I am off to see conversations about and tribal connections with those who share or are curious about some of the labels that currently play a part in my story — edgewalker, ethicurean, scanner/renaissance soul, world citizen, pronoiac, geek, teacher, INFJ, and disaster preparedness/response volunteer. I’ll also be working on the courage to add writer, coach, and advocate to my story and making peace with academic being a part of my past.