Category Archives: cultural awareness

Week 10 – Why do we label everyone?


When my dad was growing up, everyone was labeled by their ethnicity.  There were some distinctions that were widely accepted and others that could only be used by someone of the same ethnicity.

When I was growing up, we were taught to be oblivious of the different cultures.  I also think that some of this came from my mother who treated everyone as equals.

At work, I was asked to classify the ethnic background of my students.  I prided myself on knowing their names within the first week and recognizing them in the hall.  At this time, I had about 80 – 100 students each 3-month quarter.  The college had decided that we needed to change all teaching material to make it more culturally broadened.  During a training meeting, I was asked how many students fit into each ethnic category. (White, Black, Hispanic, Korean, Japanese…)  At the time, I found this extremely difficult.  I was no expert.  I prided myself in not labeling them.  I did the best that I could without walking into my classroom and counting.  I was quite off by the way.

Now, we are to the current teenagers.  I have two by the way.  Why are they taking pride in labeling everyone?  Why is it important now?  Today’s teens are not labeling by ethnicity but by sexual preferences.  Everyone is straight, gay, bi, Asexual…  Most of the time, I am lost.  I put my foot in my mouth often.

Why do we as a society still want to label everyone?  Why can’t we just love everyone?

I am refusing to play this game.

This week I want you to look past the labels.  Look at every person you see and love them for themselves.  Look in their heart and look in yours.

If you can’t tell them, “I love you for who you are” out loud then say it in your mind.  Mean it!  Everyone needs a little love sometime even if it is subconsciously.