Attention deficit disorder, Republican, Democrat, smart, stupid, old, young, fat, skinny, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Bipolar, hillbilly, Liberal, Conservative, Vegan, Pescetarian, gay, straight, Black, White etc. I could go on and on with the labels that we each readily attach to other human beings on a daily basis.
But do we ever stop and look at these labels to see what effect they have on ourselves and others?
It has become more and more obvious to me that any label only serves to cause a separation between us. And they are all brought about by a powerful ego that is absent of understanding and compassion. Thinking, “I am this and you are that”. But if we take the time for present awareness, it becomes increasingly clear that there is no such separation. One example came about yesterday, when my oldest Daughter told me I am looking old. While this did not hurt my feelings at all, it did give rise to my awareness of perception. In my Daughters eyes, I am old. Yet I know that in the eyes of her children, she is the old one. And in the same token, when I sit and talk with someone who is 90, they see me as a kid. All of which leads me to see that old is simply another label. There is no reality to that at all, only an ego driven perception.
Another example happened to me yesterday when having a discussion with a friend who explained that they are ADHD. And as they explained how that affected them in their life, I quickly realized that we are all ADHD. And if you doubt that at all, just sit in meditation for a little while and observe your mind. Is it simple, clear and focused? Or, like a monkey, does it jump from one branch to the next, grasping at different thoughts, stories and emotions?
This is one of the many benefits of meditation, as by learning to observe our own minds we can begin to gain better understanding and awareness. This finally begins to move off the cushion, and our observational awareness gains clarity in our every day moments.
Right now there are so many firestorms of unrest between races, religions, nations and political parties. All of which could be completely eliminated were it not for the ego and associated labels that we attach to them. And while individually we cannot change the World, individually we can change the self. And by changing ourselves, we do change the World. We are no separate from it, but as much apart of all life as any living being. We are the seeds of change, of compassion, of loving-kindness. And by dropping the labels, we become connected fully and joyfully.
I suggest that we each cultivate our own peaceful mind, and not concern ourselves with changing anyone. The benefits will become quickly obvious as you become more and more an Ambassador of goodwill in this life.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.