This world isn’t as easy as this or that and therefore, no matter that the mind seeks to make it so.
The human ability to sort and group like items has served us well in creating language and culture, but at this point in our development it’s time to move beyond the differences dividing us and look for the similarities making us whole.
From birth, we are labeled by gender and race, and these labels are the primary influence of what our experience of the world will be.
Boys and girls are dressed by hospitals in blue and pink caps respectively, and carried home by parents with gender appropriate dreams for their children’s futures.
Labels such as “sissy” and “tomboy” attach to those who don’t conform to the characteristics society has assigned to each gender.
Some babies are born into a world where the color of their skin alone opens doors, often blinding them to advantages given as a birthright.
Others come into a world where their skin color is a disadvantage – soon learning certain doors are closed to them and they’re already behind in the pursuit of success.
Relatively mild racial labels such as “gringo”, “colored” and “oriental” are used to characterize and dismiss groups of people we choose not to assess as individuals.
To function in the world’s vast array of information, certain shorthand of thought is natural and necessary.
This is only a problem when we lose the flexibility to recognize and accept things that don’t comply with the binary sorting to which we’re accustomed.
The truth and beauty of humanity, which is yet inexpressible with language, is the infinite variation on the scale between one label and its opposite.
Even the labels that properly describe our physical beings cannot encompass, and therefore make transparent to strangers, our hopes and dreams, experiences and intentions.
People want to be understood and welcomed for their singular complexity, and every person to which we grant that gift increases the value of our own life experience.
Look to the world around us and change it by recognizing and dismantling the wall of labels we’ve built that perpetuate our own ignorance.