The last few days I’ve focused on occasions where we often put labels on people just from what we see, rather than getting to really know the true person in front of us.
Labels can be hard to shift once you’ve got them. Here’s some examples:
- If you have been found to have lied to someone in the past, you may well find that person finds it difficult to trust anything you say from then on.
- If you have a reputation for treating people unfairly, it can be hard to get rid of that label even if that was just a one-off occasion.
- If you get caught cheating on an exam, teachers may find it hard to trust you in your next exam.
- If someone tells you something in confidence and you share it with others, you may find that person never takes you into their confidence again.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the story of the child who cried “wolf” so many times that when there really was a wolf attacking his sheep, no-one came to help him, as everyone assumed it was just another prank. The reason I mention this story, is that it a great example of a label being put on someone, and then others reacting in a particular way, just because of the label that has been placed on them.
As I’ve said in the last few days, it’s important that we don’t “label” people, as we can often place labels on people that are not only inaccurate, but which hurt and upset because they stick.
Having said all that about labels, there are of course some labels which sure we’d all be delighted to have placed on us, and ones which I’m sure most of us would not want taken from us. Here’s some examples:
There is one other label which I hope sticks with me, and that is…Christian!