I was once called greedy. At a break, in a workshop meant to entertain us the moderator made us draw pigs. I drew one in the middle of a folded sheet. She declared it ‚ a pig made by a greedy’. I would have called it ‚a pig made it by an environment conscious person’ :)– same sheet had many uses, before going into recycling.
I was taken aback by this labeling in a moment when I was fully voluntarily involved in a shelter for single mothers at risk of abandoning their babies. Humanly natural, this comment hurt my feelings and my ego asked for revenge.
Behind that story my mind raised a more essential question: what makes us jump into conclusions and judgments about people we barely know and even people we know or we think we know. Is it the internal confused, deprived of self-approval, self-critical dwarf that makes some label others? Is it prejudice, stereotyping? the ability to jump into conclusions? a misjudgment? Is it the temporary short-lived pleasure of feeling ‚better’ that is triggered by ‚i know it all’ perspective? Is it a past experience of a bullying’s victim seeking revenge now as an adult?
What I know is that critique attracts critique and misunderstandings. Misunderstandings are counterproductive in building healthy relationships. And we need healthy relationships to grow into better human beings.
A Dalai Lama or Osho will almost certainly never use labels of any kind. The reality is as such that we do not always communicate with dalai lamas and oshos in our daily lives.
There always be people who would try to fix you with a label. It’s their choice. Your choice is greater: if you do not want a label or feel it is not just, nothing makes you stay near a labeling-person. It’s the loss of labelers who, preoccupied with labeling, miss great opportunities to learn about themselves, to build positive institutions, to bring out the best out of themselves and to engage with potentially someone great as yourselves.