Why you should be wary of labellers?
Labeling is one of the classic ten distortions of the mind, and a labeller is some who deliberately or accidentally engages in the act of labeling. Spell check does not seem to like the term and I certainly wish we did not need it, but you have to name a thing before you can defeat it, and once you know what they are call you can spot them straight away. Which shows you power of labeling straight away, the color blue did not exist until the Egyptians, and once it was labeled you could not imagine it being anything else. Labeling has power and the labellers know it.
However we have all been guilt of labeling at one time or another, there is a certain human instinct to compare and contrast between the good and the bad, a tendency to put things in boxes. It is our parents first lesson in what is appropriate behavior, for which they reward us with a smile or punish us with a frown or a sharp shout of, “Do not put that in your mouth it is dirty, don't be a bad boy,” and we learn that there are only two behaviors, good and bad. Though like so many childish things as we mature, we are suppose to put away such simple toys and tools, and start seeing the world in all it's marvelous shades of colors, and who would not prefer an infinite numbers of shades instead of a binary choice.
Whilst our six year old internal voice that tell us whether we should be doing something or not, would like us to think we are bad or good. We are all actually somewhere in between, we are on a spectrum where the only reference point that makes sense is ourselves and where we happen to be on it at the moment. We are all trying to be better versions of ourselves. Sometimes it might be a case of one foot forward, two steps back. We are all trying to make better choices, we are all trying to learn from our mistakes, we are growing beings of consciousness. That means we are not perfect, if we were, we could not by definition grow. Every problem, trouble and contrast in our lives is an opportunity for us to grow, to make better decision than last time, to try to be better.
When we label ourselves or others as bad or good, we are setting up a distortion, a trap which is impossible to escape. Once you are bad, there is no way not to be bad, it becomes your self-image, who you are and then you act accordingly, there is no way not to be bad as you have to be consistent with who you think you are. If we are bad, it becomes a box that surrounds us and limit our actions to those that confirm who we think we are. If we know that labels are something that other people want to give us, even if it through our subconscious, we can stop acting according to those labels and we can choose our actions instead. We can choose a better action rather than the action that is in line with our label of what a bad person would do.
There was a time when labels were useful, when there were the enemy and dangerous creatures that wanted to kill us, bad was a useful label to our tribal ancestors. However in the modern world, they simplify our complex world too much, they are used to control your thoughts and actions. The liberal left and far right use labels to divide the world into “them” and “us”, good and bad, saint and sinners, chosen and outcast, and once a label is stuck on you, like women stamped with “A” on their cheeks, the labels tarnishes you, and you are exiled, removed from polite society, you are forever untouchable and banished.
When you hear someone using a label and you are sensitivity to this language of exclusion. Stop, reserve judgment, use caution, be aware, know that they are trying to use, intentionally or not, that label to cast a person or their ideas to the side. It is the oldest trick in the book if you can not attack the idea, you attack the person instead. They are not prepared to argue with reason or logic, they want you to accept the label, ignore everything the person says, they want you to accept their authority to tell you who is good and bad. It is implicit in their labeling that you should obey that label of badness, like the yellow and black sign warning you of radioactivity, you should avoid all contamination and not listen to anything said by that person.
When people label they are trying to persuade or force you to their opinions, they want to be right and in charge of what you believe, they evoke labels to warn you that there is a line that should not be crossed. It is a warning sign that they are playing for a side of the argument that thinks it is a team, that want to divide people in the tribe of them and us. They are using the power of a label to stop you from considering something on it's merits. And if you think you are immune, ask yourself would you open the black box with a radioactive label on it, after all you have been warned.