SO these are pens.
These are apples.
This. is. salt.
I’m not trying to insult your intelligence. Work with me here.
What if these items didn’t have names and we didn’t give things labels. Would we end up putting salt in our cakes instead of sugar? Or maybe attempt to write a note with a pen?
Nah! I didn’t think so either.
Although my Mum has baked two batches of minces pies one Christmas using salt, without having any idea why the pasty was always tasted so salty. It turned out that the sugar jar and the salt jar were not labeled. Doh! We had no mince pies that year!
So there’s an example where labeling things can be a huge advantage- I love my mince pies at Christmas! But, what about when it comes to peoples beliefs and preferences? Why in today’s society do we feel the need to label everything?
It seems impossible for a vegetarian to simply just be someone who doesn’t feel the need or has any desire to eat meat. It seems impossible that someone who only eats fish is just someone who just doesn’t eat fish. It seems impossible that someone who doesn’t drink cows milk must immediately be looked upon as someone with a intolerance to dairy products. When the simple fact of the matter is that they just cannot stand the taste of cows milk.
It seems that anything that is not labeled these days doesn’t fit. It’s deemed an anomaly if you cannot give that something a name. Today’s society seems to get really irate when they cannot put a name to an item, someone’s marital status, a flower or an individuals beliefs.
After defining my dietary preferences the other day as “pescatarian” I thought to myself: Why should I have to define my beliefs? Why cannot they not just be?
I always find labeling a a tough subject to be discuss as it really isn’t a black and white topic. More like red, yellow, purple and everything else in between. Labels are not just about image or credibility. Giving something a name is essential in some ways to make sure that you are understood. When I say that I am a pescatarian the waiter in the restaurant instantly know what that means. In many cases labels aid communication and stop mishaps like mistaking sugar for salt for instance. And like a double edged sword sometimes labels can become negative and objectify people.
In my own opinion labeling someone with a belief can instantly create a pressure for that individual. It gives them something that they perhaps may feel pressurised to live up to and they may begin to make choices that they may not necessarily agree or be comfortable with to conform to the label given to them.
Do you feel the pressure to live up to a label that has been assigned to you by society?
Do you think it is necessary to label peoples beliefs?
Is labeling a negative thing?