How easily is to place labels on people? As human beings we love to create names in order to identify others. In Junior High teens are the experts of name calling, they identified themselves as the jock, the athletic, the fat, the geek, and the ugly. We as society have different classifications for the people around us, and according to their label we will treat them.(Most of the time called stereotypes) For example when people think about Hispanics, they think about Mexicans only(not right at all). Or when they hear “Islam” the first thing that comes to their mind is terrorist. We label people that are different than us, because in a way we do not know how to deal with them. We have labels like gay, illegals, weirdo, fanatics. There are names that try to describe a whole group but most of the time are wrongly generalized for example: Christians are fanatics, but the reality is not the case, or French people are unfriendly, just because is another culture does not mean all French are unfriendly. Or what about the one I usually say: Americans are cold, what an excellent way to label people and become the unfriendly guy of the neighborhood. Labels can easily become destructive and they divide more than unite.
Last night I sat down among a group of guys, to drink and create conversations. We talked about our countries, about life in itself, exchanged different points of view, there were moments of awkward silence, but also moments of intensity specially when they started to get excited and talk in their language. We spend a couple of hours there trying to make sense of our time together. For a moment in that round table there were no labels anymore, we were united by our desire to hang out and relax from our so occupied schedule at university. In a way language did not matter at all, and the age difference was not a problem specially because I am much older than them.
So labels are relative to the place, community and idiosyncrasy of the ones creating them; all these, influences the way we think about others and how we would react. It has been almost 12 years when I went to my first trip to Paris, and even though I felt in love of the city, I placed a label to French as being not very friendly. Just because some people did not treated me good—as a very imperfect human being—I generalized all French people. Do you think it sounds ridiculous? Well it does, but we do it constantly.
I do not why but in the last 3 months I have met more French than in my trips to Paris. So of course my so wrong conception of them have changed, and not only that now I am also learning French, well I will say that I am trying. So if the labels I placed in them have changed then this tells me that the only way to change my mentally toward others is when I give myself the opportunity to take time, become unselfish and be able to sit down in a table and open myself to learn.
So aging going back to my own experience, just because I started questioning and doubting about God, I do not have to be taken the label of “deserted of the faith”. If you would like to label me, please consider this simple one: A seeker. Simple as that!! But it will be better if you are willing to seat down with me and we can listen to each other so any labels, pre-conceptions or stereotypes can be taken away, and may be we can finish our day drinking together.