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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Name Calling Elevated to a High Art

Today I must warn myself again against labeling people and putting them in little boxes—seeing them in one-dimension only. I just returned from SUBWAY, having gotten my daily tuna sandwich. I got into a discussion with the manager (who I see daily) and he expressed some interest in other job opportunities. My first response was that I knew of a national company in the restaurant business nearby which ran food service at the university. He said, “Thanks, I might check that out.” Yet I could tell by the tone of his voice that I had hurt him deeply. I apologized for pigeonholing him. He then said he had coached and that he would love to have a coaching career.

The Jehovah Witness have a saying: “We are united but not uniformed.” I wish that could be said of all humanity—we are united but not uniformed—we do not engage in the practice of emasculating either ourselves or others. What unites us is the sea of possibility that each and every one entails. We desperately need to pray that we not enslave ourselves or others with crippling labels. Until we stop it, we will all be caricatures of our true selves. The problem is that label making gives us an immense sense of control and security. God knock these phony props out from under us. Amen.

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