Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Defining, or labeling?

      Who gets to determine the definition of common words and ideas? The word “lie” can mean several different things. The same can be said for “live”, “control”, “authority”, and hundreds of different words. Who or what determines what definition is used, say, in a court of law, or in society in general?
       If you open a textbook, almost every word will have at least two definitions. How are these definitions determined, and how do we know which one applies to each individual scenario?
       The idea behind naming someone or something derives from the act of labeling- from the act of trying to fit something into a box, just to make it easier to comprehend. It’s easier to think of someone who killed their father as a murder, than actually delving into why he killed. Who knows, maybe it was self-defense, maybe it was to protect someone. This doesn’t make the act any less wrong, but it should have an impact on how we comprehend. The person will still be labeled a murderer, no matter what the court decides. Is this fair? And who decides if it is or not?

       The human mind is an amazing thing, and can absorb more data and information than we can even imagine. By labeling, we are limiting ourselves to what someone else tells us to believe or think. The best way to avoid this is having an “open-mind”, or at least don’t make judgements or decisions without having every bit of information possible, and don’t let someone convince you of something that doesn’t feel right.


  1. There is one label I wish I used more: Valuable. With this label you recognize that someone is worth knowing, learning from, and treating well. I too often forget this.