I am a singular individual. Labels do not assimilate me. On the contrary, it’s to me that labels assimilate.
Labels conceal my uniqueness. They hide my individuality.
At the same time…
Each individual is a circle; a label = where circles overlap.
Labels hint at unity. They disclose my similarities with other individuals.
That is potentially beneficial.
Still…Labels do not disclose me.
I have type 1 diabetes; type 1 diabetes does not swallow me up.
I am young; being young does not swallow me up.
I am a New Englander; being a New Englander does not swallow me up.
I am an American; being an American does not swallow me up.
I am a man; being a man does not swallow me up.
I am a human; being a human does not swallow me up.
Labels may accurately describe one of my facets. Perhaps they might even explain an aspect or aspects of myself.
A useful negation they might be. Even so, but a fraction of my self is all you see.
Words to live by:
Cherish unity, but do not let love of unity lead to forced uniformity.
Cherish your individuality. Do not let labels obfuscate your uniqueness.
These jottings are the result of a process of thought set into motion by a comment that Heather Gabel made. She blogs over at Unexpected Blues. Check it out if you have not done so already!