I have a problem! The idea that everything and everyone needs to be labeled, to fit in a category, irks me! There is also the realization that some individuals label to make themselves feel better about a particular issue.
For instance, I am caught in a label limbo, of sorts, both educationally and professionally. I am a product of both public and private education. My parents started my sister and I out in public school but made the switch to private midway through our elementary education. I still shudder when I recall those first few months after the switch! Change does not always come easy to me 100% of the time. However, I survived the big turmoil.
Fast forward a few years…
When it came time for me to decide my major when I applied to colleges; I felt called to choose elementary education. There was no thought process involved as to whether I would go into a public school to begin my career or a private school to begin my career. I simply wanted to use my degree and begin teaching. I was fortunate, during my college years, to obtain field experience in both settings which I benefited from greatly. In the end, I ended up teaching in private schools full-time. It was not a conscious choice; I wanted to teach and I availed myself of the opportunity presented.
Fast forward a few more years…
As our children became school age, public school was where we wanted them to begin their education. Due to family circumstances, they went to private school for almost 3 years but returned to public school. Our daughters, who do much better with change than I did, have survived and are thriving. They often thank us for the opportunities and resources they are presented with in a public school setting. Unfortunately, I cannot fathom how many times my children encountered, during their 8th grade year, the question of “Where are you going to high school?” With their response came the response from the questioner of “Oh.” As if sending them to public high school was a horrific unfortunate consequence. In fact it is in this setting, of public education, where my children continue to learn and practice acceptance of differences, kindness, along with the idea that an overabundance of material possessions does not mean you are the most successful person.
Labels can hurt and are often misleading. Judgment of others is so negative and energy draining. Where is our support for one another? The full impact is sometimes unnoticed and the deepest hurts are those which cannot be seen by the eye.
Treat others as you would want to be treated with respectfulness, kindness, and compassion. If these are given freely to others, as a trio more willingly, than perhaps labeling would be a thing of the past. No longer would labels dealing with size, shape, color, education, ethnicity, or labels dealing with physical or mental impairments be used.
A girl can dream can’t she…?