It is my belief that labels are the basis of hatred. Labels allow us to judge a person or group, which allows our minds to perform or allow evils happen to that group.
I believe this is a tribal instinct we have, some sort of protection mechanism for pre-historic man, but it has no place in modern society and we must strive to overcome it. It is possibly genetic, but it is also learned and re-inforced by family, peers, media etc.
Labels are used to judge individuals and groups by stereotyping them and therefore tarring ‘them’ with one brush. For example, people use terms such as blacks, whites, gays, lesbians, catholics, protestants, muslims, athletes, nerds, travellers, beggars, elite, rich, middle class, leftist, right wing, capitalist, socialist, feminist, chauvinist, beautiful, ugly, english, israeli, canadian, londoner, new yorker, biker, punk, ska, metal head, hippy. scientists, new age, conspiracy theorists etc. etc.
Sometimes the terms are meant in an offensive way e.g. niggers, chinks, spicks, honkies, faggots, dykes, paddies, proddys, towel heads, arse lickers, knackers, bums, stuck up, crusties, whack jobs and and so on. All so that a group can judge even laugh at another group.
Most of us label people and groups because we like to put people in boxes. We like to form an opinion quickly and is probably a way for the brain saving processing power and is ultimately lazy. It is very difficult then to form an alternative opinion about that person or group once it’s formed. It is actually nigh on impossible once that opinion is formed because of the way our brains are hard wired, it takes a severe shock to the system to change these opinions. The worst thing is that these opinions spread and then you get a them and us situation, the goody and baddy situation and then anything is allowed happen to the baddy group once the goodies are looked after.
I won’t go into specifics here but we see this all of the time from the classroom to sports arenas to large scale wars between countries. It’s OK to hurt and bully them, because they are not us. They are sub human.
We have to simply stop this, it is difficult but we have to start seeing people as individual, and to do this we must see ourselves as individual too. We all want to belong to a part of a group, that feeling of belonging is great but it is better to be a maverick with your mind. You can have an opinion that is socialist and another that is capitalist, you can believe some parts of ancient texts and not others. You can believe some parts of science and reject others. The one thing that can be free in this world is our minds. Our bodies rely on air, water, minerals, heat and gravity, we must earn a living to have a reasonably standard of living etc. but our minds can and should always be free to form its own opinion on every one and everything and not be swayed by the group you spend most time with or swayed by the opinion you have been fed about others.
If you already do this, I take my hat off to you. I have only realised this now and I pledge from this point onwards to take my own advice as much as possible and try not to be a hypocrite.
I was Irish, I was a Catholic, I was white, I was fat, I had lots of other labels too, but I am more than this now and I reject being put in a box as much as I reject putting others in different boxes. I am a free thinking entity. Yes I will make mistakes in little things and big things but I am going to try and better myself in this way from now on. I am just a human? Another label? Maybe I am but a human is an amazing manifestation of this universe with enough intelligence to realise things like this from time to time. This transcends labels, species and time.
Peace to all my fellow life forms.