Quentin Tarantino realized he needed to leave his flock as a young adult. He was working in a video store (remember those?) and enjoying the benefits of watching movies, which were his passion. His co-workers were also making minimum wage, but he knew he was the smartest one among them. This made him feel comfortable – for three years – where he admits he “lost all ambition.” And then he woke up. He didn’t want to be an elderly man working in a video store, talking about movies. He wanted to MAKE them. So he had to leave his flock.
I’m typically identified in my country and community as “Asian-American” because I’m 100% ethnically Korean (but I was born in Iowa). We have Mexican-Americans, African-Americans, and Native-Americans but rarely do we ever call white people European-Americans. What is the ramification of this?
Why not do away with these labels?
Who cares if someone is gay or straight? Religious or not? Conservative or Liberal? Poor or rich? Why not label everyone simply “human” and treat each other humanely?
A religious woman I know told me, “I love my gay son, but too bad he’s going to go to hell.” Labeling her son and categorizing him as a sinner effectively created an unnecessary distance and one I believe she could regret.
Labels are used to create differences. It’s time we emphasize how we are the same.
Here is an in-depth, research-based study on the effects of labeling people:
“A teacher of fear can’t bring peace on Earth. We have been trying to do it that way for thousands of years. The person who turns inner violence around, the person who finds peace inside and lives it, is the one who teaches what true peace is. We are waiting for just one teacher. You’re the one.” ~ Byron Katie
To run on a hamster wheel means to do things without thinking and without an end in sight. It’s a lack of presence.
“How can you tell if you’re on The Hamster Wheel? Your focus narrows and becomes singular. You get reactive instead of proactive. You’re not breathing deeply. Your shoulders are tense. Your jaw may be gripped. Your heart is beating fast and you feel frantic. You experience chronic fight or flight syndrome, your adrenaline is pumping like crazy. You stop really ‘seeing’ people and they start to become objects.”
Today was the fourth day of summer school (I’m teaching a 2nd and 3rd grade combo class). We hadn’t even gotten to the fun stuff yet (math Bingo with M&Ms and vocabulary skits) when one second grader beamed and said, “I love summer school!”
“What part?” I asked.
“All of it!”
Her gratitude was intense and contagious. Other students murmured in agreement. Summer school is the bomb.
She could have complained about waking up, getting dressed and going to school.
She could have dreaded doing math (again).
She could have complained and compared herself to other kids who are going on vacations to California and beyond.
But she was completely present. She was 100% here with 16 other kids and me and we had a great time.