On Labeling People

A few days ago, I saw a quote posted by someone in my Mastodon timeline about the ills of labeling people.  I really wanted to reference the post here, but since Mastodon has no ability to search, I’m out of luck.  I tried searching Google for the quote based on memory, and learned that there are hundreds of quotes from various people on the topic.

The problem is that we are hard wired to label things.  Everything.  People, places, things.  This is simply how our brain is built to handle the complexities of the world.  In effect, these quotes remind us to do something that is not possible for humans to do.

The intention of all these quotes is certainly virtuous, if misplaced.  Labels are generally what leads to stereotypes and discrimination.  To that end, a more helpful quote really should remind us to be aware that we instinctively and unconsciously label people, and that such labels can improperly skew our perceptions, and that we need to actively reevaluate the reasons for our feelings towards people.

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