Quote

Don’t label yourself — live a life of such complexity that when people want to know how you live and learn and work and share, no label will suffice.

Lori Pickert

Don’t label you…

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3 responses »

  1. Hi Judy , I like this but maybe it needs a bit more explaining ? Our goal for a while now has been to simplify and be transparent . However I think complexity and simplicity are not necessarily mutually exclusive. I need to ponder this for a spell. – your thoughts?

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  2. I loved this quote because I am learning to refuse (rather than even attempt to redefine) binary labels – the human brain seems to want to categorize by polarities and dualism, and it’s really a ridiculous oversimplification for the mature mind. Oh, and simplifying your external life – paring down the things and clutter and busyness – doesn’t mean dumbing down your internal life; far from it. In fact, a simple life can produce a more complex, multifaceted, radiant mind!

    Are you conservative or liberal? Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Do you support schools or homeschooling? Breastfeeding or bottle? Are you a pacifist or a patriot, a dove or a hawk, a wimp or a rambo? Do you attachment parent or let them cry it out? Are you a white hat or a black hat, a radical or a fundamentalist, masculine or feminine, artsy or jock, organic or factory, racist or colourblind?

    Each of these binary labels is only a point on a spectrum (sometimes the extreme points) – and they are lazy ways to avoid actually learning about another person. Indeed, they are often used to foster stereotypes and prejudice. The simple statement “I homeschool” can pull up the assumption ‘an American Christian stay-at-home mother who supports gun laws, teaches Shakespeare and Latin, and cooks every meal from scratch’ (to pick just one stereotype). Perhaps the homeschooler is actually an atheist gay male using an online curriculum who speaks Spanish at home to make sure his child learns a second language naturally. Or a Pagan couple in Alaska listening to On-Air. Or an expatriate Canadian who sends her child to Korean art and music classes. And ‘homeschooler’ is just one little label in one area of my great big complex life!

    I deliberately introduce myself as a “Calvinist hippie” just to hear people’s paradigm gears clashing. Or a “pacifist hunter/ fundamentalist liberal/homecrafting feminist.” That usually gets some raised brows, to say the least. It also gets some great conversations started. And hey, isn’t that where we should be? Having conversations, opening up our minds and hearts, thoughts and feelings, ideas and beliefs? Learning about and exploring the complexity of another person’s character? That’s pretty transparent, vulnerable, fascinating stuff. That’s what builds relationships, increases karma, fosters community, and creates true understanding.

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  3. “Having conversations, opening up our minds and hearts, thoughts and feelings, ideas and beliefs? Learning about and exploring the complexity of another person’s character? That’s pretty transparent, vulnerable, fascinating stuff. That’s what builds relationships, increases karma, fosters community, and creates true understanding.”

    beautiful! 🙂

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