Labels help us make sense of the world by aggregating people, traits, groups, and activity into chunks. We can then ‘file’ these chunks more easily.
Last week I saw this report from King’s College London and, as I’m prone to do, started categorising my family and friends into the three categories.
Which is, of course, entirely wrong.
I didn’t label myself because I’m all three of the categories. Depending on the time, day, weather or if I’m in a good mood or not I might be accepting, resistant or suffering. Labels like the ones in the report help us make sense of the world, but they’re a blunt tool if you build your world around them.
Labels can guide, they don’t instruct.