How to label

 “0 Trans Fat”, “No Carb”, “Low-Carb”, “Sugar-Free”, “Low-fat”, “100% Natural”, “Organic”–go into the local grocery store and you are deluged with labels. What do those labels mean? Most people probably think those labels mean healthy (Oh, look, the jelly beans are 0 trans fat — that would be good for breakfast, huh?).  So many people don’t bother to read the small print that has the list of ingredients. Let’s say you pick up a “100% Natural” granola bar (sounds healthy) but what if you stop and read the ingredients and the first ingredient is sugar? Is it really that healthy, now? Sugar is natural, afterall.

Don’t we do this with people? I think two of the (1000) things that bug me the most about politics is all of the labeling and the seemingly simple answers for complex issues. I won’t go into the simple answers now, and might not ever, but what about those labels? How quickly do we jump to conclusions just based on the political party someone supports? Do we read the fine print? Do we take the time to investigate further?

I was going to list some labels and stereotypes we love to throw around but I really don’t think I need to. I think we all know what labels we like to pin on people based on race, religions, age, etc., without reading the list of ingredients–without taking the time to think or ask questions. We even do it to ourselves, to feel like we belong maybe we stick a label on ourselves without thinking about the definition of that label. Labels put on products are there to help market them, is that what we do with labels on people? What do you think? 


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TSM-terrifically superiorily mediocre
    Feb 28, 2007 @ 15:49:45

    Very smart post!

    I was quite enlightened by the responses to my post a bit back about how to “label” myself, because my views don’t necessarily fit into one category or another. One of my views might support one party’s position on an issue, another view might oppose that same party on another issue.

    My favorite answer:

    “Labels make me so uncomfortable. I don’t want anything stuck to me. Just be who you are, funny even if you are republican!:) (not that I’m democrat–once again, no labels…)”

    I wonder who wrote that?

  2. rjlight
    Feb 28, 2007 @ 16:11:17

    thanks. hmmm, who wrote that?

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