Sunday, 23 September 2012

Label me What?

I just met this person recently.  And for all her financial stability, her social standing I never thought lies an insecure person. It's sad. Behind the facade of success, she's afraid to be left behind and that she feels inadequate. She can't step beyond the fears; unable to see just how lucky she is. And yet, you'll never be able to figure these out when you look at her. She's an object of envy for some; unable to see past beyond the superficial.

You look at a person and you form opinions based on the features, their gestures, the words they speak and sometimes by their nationality. First impressions. But do they really last? Sometimes, you wonder, how does the world see me? For one brief moment, you wished you have the ability to read anyone's mind to see how they perceive you. And if you could, would you be happy or ever ready for the things people see in you?  Or say about you.

Throughout our lives, we meet all sorts of people. Each one as different as night and day. Different strokes for different folks. What makes them tick? What are their pet peeves? What behooves them to do this and that? What moves you? What defines you? 

At the onset, we always put labels on people. It's like we put them in this and that category. Like a toy in a box complete with instructions. Little or nothing at all, could persuade us to change the dynamics of  this frail human tendency. 

Sometimes, we meet people that rub us the wrong way. You are irritated by the things they say and do. You can't explain it. There's something about them that resurrects the bad side in you---your very own Mr. Hyde personality.  But,  have you ever asked yourself, do I rub people the wrong way too?

I read somewhere that the things you hate from others are the reflection of the things that are in you, as well. Would you beg to disagree? Or does it bear a grain of truth. That deep down inside we are wired the same. It's only that society and other factors nurture us to react differently.

Inasmuch as we abhor being labeled or judged, we fall prey to the same malady. How we cringe at hearing how our friends or people in general say things about us that go against our own sensitivities. And yet, how easily we say and pass things about other people.Irony to the hilt. Sometimes, it's sad. Sometimes, upon deep contemplation, it can be a good thing. How? For one, you refrain from doing so, most times. And with conscious effort. Two, you whisper a sincere apology to those whom you feel you have slighted, directly and indirectly.Provided, of course, that you are willing to admit you have erred.

We are innately good. Nobody is born evil/bad. Call it a moment of weakness. An indiscretion from our goodness. Maybe the labels help us know people and for people to know us. But there's more to us than meets the eye. What we perceive is just a tiny facet of what lies beneath. Hardly do we fully grasp the wholeness by just seeing, or by the opinions we hold. 

People are gonna say things about you; whether justified or not.  Enough to turn your world into a frenzy. It is despicable. You become frantic; wanting to get to the bottom of things. Where have you gone wrong. Did you mess things up. You are distraught, wanting to please everyone. As if that's possible! But are you going to straighten them all up or are you just going to let it pass? Some battles are worth fighting for and some are just  a total waste of time.

How we love to downplay the reactions people do when slighted. But how tediously and overwrought with anxiety we turn ON the defensive mechanism button the moment the spotlight turns to us. Opinions rarely matter... Unless you give it the power to matter. to you!

For whom the bell tolls.  It tolls for everyone.

                                     image courtesy of


  1. Very apt and beautiful <3 Keep up

  2. This piece is so true, Sheila...

    It's quite a sad fact indeed that people do not read past the "book cover" and assume they know all when they indeed know only what their set-out presumptions advises their minds to believe.

    If people were more genuine in life - there would be a lot less assumptions to be made, because you would know precisely who you are dealing with.

    I like this no-nonsense approach of yours: to the point and full of wisdom.


  3. Your "lessons" learned are to the point and precise, I like that.

    Misconception is the evil root of human perception. :)

    Well written piece, Pix.

  4. Three words while reading this post --- leave me alone. Nice one Sheila!