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Once you label me, you negate me…

April 16, 2012

Soren Kierkegaard, the famed Danish theologian, remarked “Once you label me, you negate me.” The process of putting ourselves and others into neat little compartments on the basis of any label and then making judgements about everyone on the basis of those labels is nonspiritual and dehumanizing an experience as I can imagine. Yet it is done all the time. Our government asks us to fill out census reports and to neatly compartmentalize ourselves racially. Funding is allotted on the basis of these distinctions, and prejudices are rampant because we tend to identify one another on the basis of what we can see with our eyes, rather than feel with our hearts. We know that we can exchange our inner organs, and borrow each other’s blood, and we know that our thoughts and our souls are colorless, yet we still need to put labels on ourselves on the basis of what is outside.

Wayne Dyer in the Chapter on Langston Hughes, WISDOM OF THE AGES

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