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nanopost: labels

Labels are useful in two directions: outward, and inward.

Unfortunately an inwardly-useful label may backfire outwardly, and vice versa.

Example: I have ADD, though I am currently managing without any medication or therapy. The label itself is useful to me, as it reminds me that I have legitimate reasons for working around my limitations rather than trying to bust straight through them. To other people, though, the label may seem like I'm making excuses or trying to come off as 'special', especially if I proclaim it loudly at every turn, which I really try not to do.

Another example: I agree with many tenets (aside: 'tenets', not 'tenants', DAMMIT) of Objectivist philosophy. Labeling myself an Objectivist, though, would be pointless, as I gain nothing inwardly from the label, and outwardly it would be more misleading than not.

I'd develop this further, but the baby calls. Hence the nanopost.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
qijm
Feb. 22nd, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
One day I read the following, and all of a sudden I found myself in a position with respect to Objectivism which sounds a fair bit like the one you describe:

The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand: A Personal Statement by Nathaniel Branden
jnanacandra
Feb. 22nd, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, exactly!

I'd read that a while back, but forgotten about it until now. Thanks!
ignusfaatus
Feb. 22nd, 2007 09:45 pm (UTC)
hhhmmm. when my son was labeleed as being on the autistic spectrum, my life came apart. I always took for granted that my children would be perfect in every way. That label was a sword. It had a life of its own in my heart and in other people's heart.

Then another mom put her arms around me and said, "its a word. it has not changed anything. he didn't acquire autism spectrum disorder when they said that word. It changes nothing"
that was the moment that I learned what a label is for
and now this label is only something that lives when I use it as a tool to advocate for him.

Im not sure what my comment means. But I think about labels too. They are big things
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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