The other day, I came across a quote from the great poet of the 14th Century, Hafiz.
Labels shield one from the truth; they are like a winter coat in a way-who wants to wear one in this summer we can spend with you, playing?A Year with Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky
The Poet infers that labeling strips others of their humanity. It also implies that placing labels upon ourselves has the same result. The net effect is SEPARATION.
Martin Buber, 20 Century Philosopher, agrees. Buber developed a concept called the “I and It” relationship. In contrast, there is a healthier “I and Thou” relationship. In the latter, you see the other as a fellow person(s); in the former, you see others as objects and things rather than humans.
So this HitchHiker asks, “In this present ‘summer’ of our culture, why do we insist (obsess) on wearing a winter coat of labels?”
Remove your winter coats and start seeing others (and yourself) as fellow beings rather than things, thus establishing common ground. Then maybe, just maybe, we can live in that shared humanity, changing it into a playground where everyone can romp; 42’s Playground! After all, doesn’t he say it is important to…
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Matthew 19:19, Matthew 22:39, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:24, James 2:8
See also: 1 Corinthians 13:3-8, Romans 13:8-10, Philippians 2:3, Matthew 5:43-48, John 13:34, 1 John 4:8, 1 Peter 4:8, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Proverbs 10:12