Sunday, November 20, 2016

Label Makers

Recently I witnessed a car pull
over in the rain and its driver
hand a small umbrella through
the window to a man waiting for
the bus. Following an acrimonious
election season, that simple act
of empathy reminded me that
we are all traveling through
this life together.

I've missed that sense of unity.

Fueled by both regular and
social media, we've become a
world that places labels on
one another, which only serves
to divide us.

Whether these labels are economic,
political, religious, geographic or
something else, they say,
I am this, and you
are that.

Instead of a humanity stitched
together by our similarities, we are
like a ripped canvas, shredded
into a million tiny and disjointed


Generally, we don't label those
who we love and value the most.

Dad is just Dad.  I don't think of
him as that Libertarian, or that son
of immigrants or that caucasian.

He's Dad.

My friend Fiona is just Fiona.  
don't see her as that working 
mom, that woman from Illinois
or that Catholic.

She's Fiona.

So why are we so quick
to label others?

Walking through the last days of
autumn, I mulled this question,
then came up with my own:

If I could only use one label as
a guide to who I want in my life,
 what would that label be?


For me, kindness is more important
than where you are from, what 
your job is, your skin color, politics,
gender, creed, intelligence or any
other characteristic that can 
be labeled.

If you are kind, I'll be drawn to you.
But if you are unkind, that's
the label I'll stick on you.

My friends, we are all fellow occupants
(not owners) of a tiny spot on a small
planet in an infinite universe for a
very short while. 

What if our common experience was
guided by the desire to earn the
label kind, instead of focusing on
how we might be different from
one another? 

Kindness in thought.
Kindness in speech.
Kindness in action.

What one label would you
use to determine who you
want in your life?

Labels are distancing phenomena.
They push us 
from each other.

~ Leo Buscaglia


{all pictures taken by me}


Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

I have found myself more and more insulated from people during this election, not from my family or my good friends but from co-workers, blog friends, etc simply because there has been a we vs. them mentality all around. I miss the times when we could have a discussion and walk away as friends but still respect one another. Now days it seems so ugly and divisive. People who I have know for years through blogs have said horrible things and frankly hateful opinions. I have been shocked.

I love this post and hope it goes viral. I too want to be known as kind. I believe that I am know as that by people who know me and hope that those that I do not know personally and interact with at the store, Fed-ex etc know me as that as well.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom, love and light.

Dawn Y. said...

Your words today are so thoughtful and important, especially now when our nation feels so divided. Like Elizabeth, I have distanced myself from much social media and news coverage. It has become too heartbreaking and hurtful. My label would also be 'kind.' It's who I have always been and what I look for in others. Sharing kindness, including handmade kindness, is the only way I travel through each day. I truly wish that everyone could read and reflect upon your wise words. Heartfelt thanks, dear Suzanne! You are such a blessing in my life! ♡

Dewena said...

It has been a joy to read this exemplary November post in a time when I've frankly been taken by surprise at controversial posts that did unkindly label those who disagreed with them. My goodness, if my own immediate family did that our family would be split in two! Kindness is a golden key, thank you so much for your beautiful and piercing words about this. May I add one more? Respect for one another would be nice too.

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

So truly beautiful, Suzanne. The labeling and divisions have been horrible, of late. I have tried hard not to be a part of it. My label would be "Loving". I feel my life's purpose is to humanly share God's Love. I fall so woefully short...but the goal keeps me striving...

Lisa Ancona-Roach said...

Yes! "Kind" is my word, too! Amen, sister!

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Lately kindness seems to have taken a back seat to something else altogether. I've been sick with grief these past days but am determined to overcome it and move forward. Labels are up to no good. Kindness, however, can go a long way towards healing. Thank you, friend, for such healing words. xoKathleen Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home}

Anonymous said...

Kindness is high on my list, and its genuineness is proven mostly by how we respond to unkindness. I think instead of a label I'll choose something a little different...let's see...perhaps a quality or image or identity. I think I'll just say child of God. :)
Beautiful post and beautiful page.
Thank you for visiting at IG.
Much love,