Oops, my labels fell off

You have so many labels to wear that you could wrap yourself in them and be covered in label residue forever. Why do people have to label things? To identify them I guess, makes sense. You label your lunch in the work fridge so no one steals it (why adults steal other adults’ lunch is beyond me), you label clothes and other items so they don’t get lost. Okay, identification and ownership. But do people need labels? Labels may be convenient, but labels aren’t something I willingly wear. Even for conferences when I have to put my name on a label and stick it to myself, I am reluctant and I instantly feel stupid. If I have a drink in a bottle, the label would be being peeled off, almost involuntarily, as I drank it. Trying to put my work neatly into a genre, um. Trying to say what other author I’m like, none. So we’re being labelled because it’s convenient or so we can be identified. But the label isn’t everything.  In fact, the label provides only a drop in the ocean. You couldn’t wear enough labels to show who you really are or to be summarised in one word. Categorising people by personality type, by sexual preference, by skin colour, by the type of books they read, by the car they drive, by the suburb they live in, will provide you with no real information but it will give you a perfect opportunity to stereotype if that’s what you’re trying to do.  Come on, even that name tag applies to possibly millions of people. You are unique, remember that.  You don’t fit under a label. Being yourself is the one thing you can always be the best at, because only you can do it.


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