Back in 2001 while in an English Comp class I wrote an essay about "labels" and how quick we are to judge one another and then place a label on each other based on our judgement or the judgement of others.
I chose the topic of "labels" because my entire life I had been labeled and many of the labels that were used to identify me were not accurate and quite hurtful.
Today I find that there are many who still continue to "label."
I recently found myself in a situation where a person I had never met or visited with had labeled me and judged me according to the labels heard to describe me. I was totally shocked and speechless. This person had no interest in getting to me know me.
As I sat and listened to the labels being spouted of I found myself thinking about each label and how they were half truths.
I found myself feeling sad that the people spoken with had no idea who I was.
To them I was this "label."
After the one sided conversation ended I found myself deeply hurt that a total stranger would judge me off half true labels.
As I started to sink into my little pity party I found myself thinking of another person who had been labeled.
This person was the Divine Son of the most high God and all during his brief ministry He was labeled, "Is this not He the son of Mary and Joseph?" "Is this not the Carpenters son?" "Is He not a Nazarene?"
Those who were labeling had no desire to hear His great teachings, or get to know Him.
They just wanted to stop His teaching.
I was visiting with a friend and was saddened to see that because of the labels placed upon her she was stagnant. She like so many others started believing the labels that had been placed upon her.
Not even realizing that the labels were either false or filled with half truths.
People are constantly growing and changing one cannot honestly slap a label on someone and think, "well there it is."
Another thought that ran through my mind as I was being judged, "Do you have any idea the situation that was occurring when that label was created? Alas, no."
As I was looking for talks to help uplift and edify and possibly heal those wounded by unfounded labels, I cam across this short teaching about judging.
I love how the author refers one to "judge the situation and not the person."
That is the one pearl of wisdom that I am taking away from my experience of "being judged."
May we not be so quick to judge and slap a label on our friends of whom we don't understand, without first looking at their situation and getting to know them.
I'm now on a healing journey and have decided to let go of all the labels that I have been labeled with through the years; because for the first time, I have seen them as they really are, half truths to stop one from growing and developing.
May all who have been wrongfully labeled also start that journey of healing.