“Once you label me, you negate me.” – Soren Kierkegaard”
I heard this quote this morning as I was sipping my morning tea, and at first blush, I agreed. I looked it up (naturally, I needed to find out more) and found that most agree it’s a bit of a dilution from the original quote, but it’s enough to get the gist.
It was still dark but I like to walk my dogs just before dawn-so peaceful-so I headed out and thought about this quote the entire time. I’m pretty sure the message is don’t label people, which is a good thing, but then again, labeling me is your problem, not mine. What do I care what you think or what labels you put on me? I suppose when I care is if you are someone who has the ability through your job (lawmaker, etc.) to develop programs and protocols based on a label. Then I care.
What about people who label themselves? Vegetarian, runner, idealist or Paleo, peace activist …whatever. Why do we feel a need to parse ourselves down so? Perhaps it’s just convenient? Sexual orientation and eating style labels seem to be top of the list. Personally I don’t care what your sexual orientation is, and I just hope that whatever your eating style is that you don’t have it be such a dogma that you judge me if I don’t agree. I will also say that as a nutritionist and environmentalist, I hope each bite you take (or at least many of them) have our planet in mind.
Anyway, it was a food for thought quote for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.