June 24, 2015

On labeling people:

Once you've given someone a label, you've effectively shut down your own mind to anything else the person you labeled might have to offer.

If you label enough people, you'll eventually run out of people from whom you can learn.

Just because someone has a differing opinion than yours, it doesn't automatically make them wrong.

Taking immediate offense to an opinion offered to you by a fellow human being without finding the underlying reason for them to have that opinion means you lack maturity both emotionally and intellectually. Announcing that you have been offended (unless of course the other party is intentionally being offensive) proves an inability to deal with your own prejudices/tenets in relation to a differing opinion.

When you give someone a label, it makes it too easy to dismiss them:
          "Don't listen to so-and-so, they're just a ______-ist!"
          "That (liberal/conservative) mentality is ruining this!"
          "That guy's a racist because..."
          "if you think/act that way you must be a ______"

Too many people fear/know they may be wrong, and will label someone immediately in order to drown out  the possibility to hear the opposing argument, and in the process, eliminate the opportunity to teach or learn.

I hear in the mass media, social media, and in everyday conversations, the need to open a dialog on issues of race, sexuality, poverty, education, fiscal responsibility, etc. Yet as soon as someone tries to genuinely start one, no matter which side of the issue, that person is immediately labeled, shouted down, and shut out. No one benefits, nothing is solved.

The mentality of "I'm right, You're wrong, end of story!" is doing way more harm in this world right now than you can imagine.

But what do I know?  I'm just a _____ .

Here's a link to a comic that illustrates the point.


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