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What would we do without labels?
A label for this, a label for that;

Ah yes, now I know you, here’s your label,
Friend, co-worker, awkward git, good sense of humour;

And how would we shop without labels?
Oh yes, I must have this one, but definitely not that one;

Could our health system function without labels?
Mmmmm, you’re suffering from X, with maybe a touch of Y;

Does knowing lots of labels for things make us more intelligent?
Think educational systems, quiz shows, puzzles galore;

And what if we run out of mental space for our labels?
They must take up huge amounts of mental real estate;

Do our labels stop us from looking any further and so semi-blind us?
Maybe we rely on them too much;

Can you sum up a life, a person, an experience with a label?
Maybe there is a label for that problem too.

© David R. Durham
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6 thoughts on “Labels

    dianarasmussen said:
    May 19, 2013 at 12:56 am

    This is really good!

      David responded:
      May 19, 2013 at 11:04 am


    malinhphotography said:
    May 20, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I have had the same thoughts many times…

    Love the image!

    riximages said:
    June 24, 2013 at 1:13 am

    This is a matter that really bugs me about people – the love of categorizing, that everyone must be labelled as a type of person. Labels are the death of individualism.

      David responded:
      June 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Agreed, and labels often stop us from really seeing who is in front of us.

        riximages said:
        June 25, 2013 at 12:37 am

        Exactly. It’s so much easier to dislike someone from a group of people you don’t belong to, as identified from their clothes/colour/speech. A love of labeling everyone is less an observation about the person being labeled, as an indication of the person who is labeling.

        Of course if that’s true then people who label others are fools, which is also a label…

        So I guess it’s just human nature to categorize everything around us in order to create some simplicity out of the chaos we perceive. As you say in the very first line: ‘What would we do without labels?’

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