Society has created limited categories for humans to specifically view other humans. This affects people’s decisions on how they perceive other people. These citizens should not sink into the limits of labels. They should create their own communities. They should stand up for themself, and express their voice.
Growing up, I feel like I had to overcome labels to be my true self. Also, I feel like, as a child, labels have restricted me from different opportunities. Labels are harming to a child’s growth (Psychology Today). This is because labels on different students creates a judgemental screen. Jimmy Santiago Baca believes that because of his impoverished childhood, he felt pain and was unable to excel in academics. Baca says, in A Place to Stand, “Books separated me from people like her and those two detectives, who used law books to perpetrate wanton violence against poor people” (p. 100). The experience Baca had was partially because of labels. Labels can be socially and emotionally challenging (The Conversation).
On the other hand, some people believe that labels encourage children to live up to what is expected of them. Labels can be good, because telling a child they are smart will help them believe that they are smart (The Conversation). This helps builds a positive self-esteem that will boost a child’s academic skills. Labels could also help someone meet new people who are of the same label as they are, such as race and social status. Branching out can be difficult, but meeting new people who are similar to them can be easier. Labels in the essences of smart and pretty are positive and encouraging. Nonetheless, labels are limiting and mostly negative.
I have been taking a stand against labels. I had the great opportunity of being apart of the American Indian Youth Leadership Institute (AIYLI) committee. By being involved with creating an annual conference that builds leadership skills, connects, and gather students to embrace their Native ways, I believe I know that I can be my true self, and I can stand up for myself.
Since most labels are negative, we should try not to use labels. People should rise above the limits of labels and stereotypes, so they can become the truly great person they are. We should stop using labels, because labels are deteriorating. Tate Todea my AIYLI co-chair expresses that “AIYLI works on rising above stereotypes, and taking a stand.” I believe everybody should have this eye opening experience, so they can have a fulfilled life of being themselves.
Adam Alter. “Why It’s Dangerous to Label People.: Psychology Today. Psychology Today. Blog, 17 May 2010. Web. 9 Mar. 2016.
Baca, Jimmy Santiago. A Place to Stand. New York: Grove Press, 2001. Print.
Plows, Vicky. “Labelling kids: the good, the bad and the ADHD.” The Conversation. Education, 5 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Prince Ea. “I am NOT Black, You are NOT White.” Online video clip. Youtube. Youtube, 2 Nov. 2015. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.
Todea, Tate. Interview by Theresa Halsey. KGNU. KGNU, 2016. Web. 10 Mar. 2016.