Don’t Label Me

Respect me for who I am, instead of labeling me according to learned standards. I am an individual, not to be lumped together with others you put in a category with me.

Those concepts hit me hard when I became labeled a senior citizen. The grey hair, the not so straight posture, the crackling bones upon standing up and even the wrinkled stretched skin gave some people what they considered their right to take the control and label me.

Today it’s a wonderful feeling to have someone respect me enough to open the door at the clothing store and the Dentists office. During the period of transition from being an intelligent woman to being an old lady, I resented those do-gooders because I thought they judged me to be weak. Those adjustment times from the past enabled me to search and search to discover the real me of today. Now I enjoy the help from those who open the door for me, pick up the dropped wallet for me and so many other courteous behaviors.

I overheard conversations at the grocery store which included judgement calls of the shoppers’ mutual friend or relative. “She should have…” and “why didn’t he…” were part of the conversation. I wondered if the talkers thought of themselves as perfect. It was difficult to resist the temptation to tell them perfect does not exist forever, so accept those who are being judged for their choices since you don’t understand their reasons.

In 2019 labels are freely attached to politicians and their ideas during speeches and embedded in political ads. Negative campaigning has become a way of life. A more positive universe would help us all to be more successful in our daily lives.

Let’s look at how we can identify me as my true self and you over there as being your own different self. We are not clones of each other. Success comes from being unique individuals. Pretending does not stop in childhood. We take on expected identities to fit in with countless groups during various phases of life. Don’t let these identity changes take over your unique inner self. Be true to yourself.

Each of us is on a distinctive life path which defines a part of our uniqueness. There is no one like you in the whole world. No one has your abilities and opportunities to perceive things the way you do.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. – Henry David Thoreau