How do you see yourself? Do you use labels to describe who you are – a mother, father, male, female, English, African, a doctor, a teacher, Christian, Jewish …. the list goes on? A great cause of our separateness in today’s world is due to the labels we put on ourselves, as though they define who we are, yet in reality these are all illusions. They mask the real person beneath the labels. Regardless of nationality, gender, religion (or none), or occupation which may describe a part of your life at any given time, it is not the real you.
Putting ourselves into little boxes only creates boundaries which then need to be overcome in order for us to connect with another we view as different to us. When we see that all others on the planet, regardless of the labels they themselves use, are in essence the same as us – they love, they hate, they work, they cry, they bleed, they hurt, they suffer, they give…. only then can we start to feel a real connection, and come to an understanding that they are not so different after all. How can anyone kill or hurt another, when they see the true person and connect with them on a human level, a level of ‘being’? News stories very often have a focus on emphasising the LABELS when describing war, murder, rape, robbery, as though somehow these are what the perpetrators are, and we should watch out for anyone that ‘fits the bill’ in future. How would we view these people if they were simply described as humans – no religion, colour or race attached? Admittedly, humans who have lost their way, but humans nonetheless, and not so different from us. How would we act in the same situation? It is too easy to pass judgements on those who seem different, and the only reason we feel comfortable in doing so, is because we are labelling them so they appear to be separate to us, they don’t have a place in OUR usual view of OUR world.
Please, next time you encounter another being, and start to judge them by their colour, appearance, age etc. – stop! Take another look, and see the real human being underneath the labels.