Posted by: shamanron | February 13, 2012

Labels and Stereotyping……Ouch!

This blog might hit a sore spot within some readers.

I can see it plain as day….. The crowd enjoys all the fare the local fair has to offer, cold drinks, corn dogs, pretzels, etc. You walk up to the crowd gathered around the barker, and when enough people have gathered, he starts his sales pitch, speaking through a megaphone so everyone can hear: ” Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, especially you younger folks, step right up! Available here today and everyday! Get your free bottle of stereotype judgement ointment! Yes, it’s totally free! Just place a few drops behind your ears and you too will have the power to be judgmental with everyone you see! A drop or two in your drink, and you will be labeling even your neighbors and co-workers!”

And some of the readers of this will certainly see how ridiculous that sounds. Others will see the true sadness of it. Of course we don’t need an ointment, salve or any other “rub on” for this to be. Society has taken care of that for us. We aren’t born that way, but it’s not far from that.

I had never given much thought to “labels” and stereotypes until recently. My fields of work have had me working closely with a lot of “Hispanic” people over the years. At first, I tried to use the word, or “label” “Spanish”, so as not to offend anyone. But it was pointed out that Mexicans, are not Spanish, they are Mexican. And Cubans aren’t Spanish either. Nor are Portuguese. So my attempt to, innocently enough, “label” my co-workers, failed. Then I came up with a better solution! I tried learning everyone’s names and country of origin.

I was a supervisor at the time and had 15 to 20 people working in my department at a time, all of whom were of some Hispanic origin. And during that time, I learned a lot about other cultures, and myself.

Over the years, I would like to think that I have evolved, even slightly so, continuing on my own spiritual journey, here on earth, learning what it is to be human, or as I more affectionately call it “the human experience”. And there are some things that society has burned into humanity, almost into our very DNA, that we can hardly escape, no matter how hard we try.

Stereotyping and labeling people is one of them. And fess up, we are all guilty! Even the most “evolved” of us. And besides society’s brainwashing over centuries, we are, alas, at fault our selves.

A few of us are content with a simple life: Get up, have breakfast, go to work, have lunch, go home, have dinner, go to bed, with limited interaction with others.

Then there are those of us that also interact with others in a group setting, whether it be at a meeting place or online. So then we are part of that group. And now we have given ourselves a label. “I am a member of NGS, and I am a Witch”. Some say it out loud, others, not so loud. But we stiil label our selves. So in the battle of not trying to label or stereotype others, we have yet done exactly that, to ourselves.

This topic can go to infinite depths, simply because of the number of inhabitants on this planet.

But I want to keep it basic, plain and simple.

Is there a message or a point to this? I think so. In order to try to end my own stereotyping and labeling, the best solution, maybe not the easiest, I have found is this: As I see a person (notice there is no use of gender), I try to see and/or feel (being empathic) the simple truth of that being, that is inherent in all humans: that we are pure and simple energy of the Divine, of the God or Goddess, of the Universe, what ever your preference is, and that that pure and simple energy is pure beauty.

Is this easy to do? With practice, it get’s easier. But un-brainwashing from centuries of society’s infections takes a lot of work. But I think it’s worth it.

Imagine if you can, a world without stereotypes or labels. Try to see the pure energy beauty of the person in the check out in front of you next time you are at your grocery store, or even better, of your in-laws.

We can, with a little more effort, make this world a better place.

Ron Wheeler



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