Labels And How They Affect Us

Have you ever noticed that things become more ‘serious’ or ‘real’ when a label is slapped on it? Now why is that? This may be obvious in terms of a relationship: two people can be ‘talking’ but when they decide to slap the label of a ‘relationship’ or ‘boyfriend-girlfriend’ on it then all of a sudden it becomes more ‘real’ or more ‘serious.’

But meanwhile, nothing really changes besides the acknowledgement from both parties that this label is slathered on them now. They still go on doing the same things; watching movies, sharing dinners, etc.

Let’s take this a step further: you can exhibit all the characteristics of this one type of person, but until that label is given to you, it seems somehow less real, less important or just not true.

I can be lifting weights everyday, tracking my macros every meal, and getting sufficient rest for the pat 5, 6 or even 10 years. It’s pretty obvious that this person is living the bodybuilding lifestyle, I can even introduce myself to others as a bodybuilder but somehow, things become more genuine when a bodybuilding judge or a commentator labels you as a ‘bodybuilder.’

Does putting a label on things or people truly make it more ‘real’ or is this just a facet of human psychology? Or does the process of ‘labeling’ by an authoritative figure actually make things more real?

What about on an individual basis? When you graduate from school and finally become that doctor or engineer or journalist, you can then truthfully label yourself as that occupation.

But the whole time before that authoritative figure (the Dean, or principal, etc.) gives you that stamp of approval you’ve already been doing those journalistic or engineering things. So does the label really change anything or is it just a placebo effect? Almost undoubtedly, this ‘label’ makes you more of a ‘real’ journalist even though you’ve been doing ‘real journalistic things’ for the past four years in school.

From people to people, the ‘labeling’ dilemma still exists. If two people are screaming at each other, and a bystander comes in and says ‘why are you guys arguing?’ All of a sudden the argument becomes more ‘real’ since it has just been labelled an argument.

And then there are the negative labels. Those who are labelled a pedophile, a rapist or a sex offender are immediately considered to be the scum of the earth. This is not an attempt to condone those heinous acts, rather it shows how hard it is for someone to remove that label even when it is proven that they are not what they are accused of.

So is ‘labeling’ just an aspect of the human mind that reinforces what we believe or is there some sort of weird truth and reality in having someone (preferably an authoritative figure) confirm our perceptions of ourselves?

Let me know down below!

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It Is Not Racism That Divides Us

Society as well as mainstream media has constantly shown us that the only divide between our Western civilization is this ‘racial divide.’ But is that really true or is there something deeper brewing in the depths?

Now obviously racism exists and people get favours or lose out on opportunities based on colour but is skin colour truly the root of all our problems?

I argue that it is not skin colour, or religion or sexuality that divides us, rather it is our incomes.

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Look at the neighbourhood you live in. Is there an area where only the ‘posh’ live in? Where every house has a three car garage and an orange Porsche sitting on the driveway?

Now go a little further down the block and you might reach the high middle-income families where there might be homes that can fit four or five people comfortably.

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But on the other side of that same town, there lies government housing. Run down houses with rickety garages and kids on bikes everywhere. Streetlights that flicker on and off and potholes that have long been neglected by city officials.

And that’s the society we live in. We are literally physically separated from those who make less than us yet we buy into the belief that it is race, or religion or sexuality that divides us.

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Would we be more willing to help those in need if those who are in need lived next to us? Or would we be repulsed by neighbors who are ‘less than us?’

Now, take a look at the schools around you, or the amusement parks, or the sports that are played. The rich and wealthy play a different game than us. They go to private schools, they get the fast lane at Wonderland, they play golf at the biggest, most expensive golf courses. We are divided into separate groups based on our finances.

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This problem is then further exacerbated when we, as a group, buy into this social and financial hierarchy. The wealthy are perched at the top, the rich just one rung below them, and the high income families another level lower and so on and so forth.

We look up to those with material possessions and commas in their bank accounts, whereas we frown upon those who are ‘lazy’ or ‘not motivated.’

We hold those with money and worldly possessions in higher regard than those that might make less. We are separated by classism and not by racism or sexism or any other factor.

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One can argue that this is simply capitalism. In a society based on money and the ‘free market’ anyone can simply become wealthy. But capitalism wasn’t built so that everyone can be wealthy. The game has been skewed so that the rich stay rich. Loopholes are created not for small, family owned businesses, rather they are DESIGNED for the wealthy corporations.

So what if urban environments weren’t designed in such a way? What if the richest person lived next to the poorest person? What if everyone’s neighbor wasn’t of the same financial status as them? Would we still turn a blind eye to those less fortunate than us when they are literally next to us?

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On such a small scale (our respective neighborhoods or towns), we can see that we are divided by money so that we don’t see those less fortunate than us. So that we can say ‘I don’t see it, so I don’t have to do anything about it.’

But if we worked together as the masses that we are then we can surely create some sort of change. There should be no reason that someone should have eight mansions when people are dying from a lack of clean water. There should be no reason for people to hoard trillions of dollars when a third of that can end world poverty.

If on such a small scale we are divided by class, then upon a larger, international scale how prevalent and systemic is classism?