Tag Archives: Sense of belonging

What's your label?

6 Dec

We are taught that to judge is wrong, yet we live in a world of labels.  From our clothes to our religion, from our job title to our relations, and from our gender to our ethnicity.  We are forced to be branded ever since we were born.   “It’s a boy” or “it’s a girl” is the first label we are given and that’s when the judgement begins.

“My boy will be strong and athletic who will be great at sports.  I will start painting his room blue.”

“My girl will be a little princess who will love to cook and play house. I will start buying pink dresses.”

Drive a car labeled a Porsche, you are branded rich.  Graduate from a college labeled Stanford, you are branded smart.  Job title labeled as CEO,  you are branded successful.  Religion labeled as Christian, you are branded good.

Problems arise when the label does not match the person.  Problems arise when people discriminate against a specific label.  Problems arise when people begin to hate themselves for not being that label.  Problems arise when the label’s expectations deviate from being yourself.  Problems arise when people are blinded by the label.

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that our 3rd level of needs is the sense of belonging.  Do labels give us a sense of belonging?  The label as a wife, the label as a college graduate, the label of the clothes you wear, the label as an Asian – does it make you feel like you belong – that you belong to your husband, you belong with the smart people, you belong with the rich crowd, you belong to a Nation?

I am not saying that our given labels are always falsely branded nor are they always true.  I am not saying that it’s wrong nor right that we have these labels.  I am simply stating that we live in a society, a world of labels.  Therefore we are forced to judge, whether we choose to or not.

The real problem is not that we have these labels, it is that sometimes people get lost in the labels and forget who they really are.  The labels do not make us — we define what the label means to us.

XOXO,  Chic Chick