Have you ever thought about labels and the effect it has on our overall happiness?
And no, I don’t mean the labels on your clothes, sheets or anything else you may have purchased.
I’m talking about how we are labelled by society, how we label others, and essentially, how we label ourselves.
Your whole identity — who you think you are — is all a label.
You believe truths about yourself that is a perception of the world around you, and eventually, your own perception of yourself.
“Hi, my name is Jane. I’m a white, married female and I work in the local post office. I go to church, sometimes. I love to read and knit. Most people say I’m warm and friendly. I love dogs and my pet peeve is people who honk in traffic. Sometimes people tell me I’m too nice, kind of like a doormat, so I’m working on that. I am generally happy with my life, though I think my thighs are a little too fat and I’d love to lose some weight by the end of the year.”
“All Asians are the same. They cut queues, talk loudly, cook food that smell funny…”
Which part of that is real? Which part of that is the right or wrong perception of oneself or someone else?
Where did that whole identity come from?
Lately, the world has been reflecting a lot on major world issues. The terror attacks in Paris has raised debate, argument, points from all kinds of people, from all over the world.
Some are focussed and saddened by the acts; some argue that Paris is not the only country to suffer; some are saying that we only care about Paris because it’s a “white problem”.
Everyone has an opinion on something.
But really, if you step back and look at the big picture, I think most of us are missing the point.
The point is that horrible things are happening in the world. It’s not necessarily the end of the world (there are statistics to say we live in a safer world today than we ever have), but it would be great if we could see a world of all-round peace, happiness and unity.
That would be so ideal.
It’s clear that stories of terror attacks, mass shootings, bombings etc. upset most of us. It’s clear that the majority of us human beings want these to stop.
So let’s step back and not see things as a “fundamentalist/terrorist/specific-country problem” but rather, a question of humanity taking a beating here and there and us needing to put a halt to this.
But how do we stop these cruelties that we see taking place in different countries across the globe?
The problem is a deeper conversation than the terror acts we see in the news.
It goes right down to how we label ourselves and the others around us; how we judge and perceive ourselves and those around us.
It could be religion or simply society’s conditioning that set these “rules” or rather “labels” upon us.
The us against them.
The right and the wrong.
The should and the should-nots.
Just when I got thinking about what “labels” mean in society and the problems it has caused us internally and externally, I came across this video by Prince EA.
Do watch it and see if it sparks something in you, and see if you get the core message that he’s trying to put across.
To me, that message is that we are all one, creatures of humanity, one and the same. We may look different on the outside, but we are all the same on the inside. We all came from the same place to begin with, and will end up in the same place when all this is over.
The video starts with a very profound metaphor:
“But there’s just one problem — labels are not you, and labels are not me. Labels are just… labels. But who we truly are is not skin deep.
“See when I drive my car, noone would ever confuse the car for me. While when I drive my body, why do you confuse me for my body? It’s ‘my body’ — get it? Not ‘me’.
“Let me break it down — you see our bodies are just cars that we operate in and drive around. The dealership we call society decided to label mine the ‘Black’ edition. Yours the ‘Irish’ or the ‘White’ edition. And with no money down, 0% APR and no test drive, we were forced to own these ‘cars’ for the rest of our lives.”
You can watch the video below.
Did this video spark anything in you? Share the message with friends and your comments below.