Label Resistance

We are tagged with so many labels throughout our lives; most of which becomes irrelevant over time . Yet, the perceptions of friends, family and those who think they know us, we never change.

Change is inevitable, and when we choose to live up to the expectations of others and the labels applued to us, we are doing ourselves a disservice. The more we know, the more we change. Other words, as we learn better, we do better. This means that all previous labels are no longer valid. This is why we have to develop “label resistance.”

Label resistance is the process whereby, we discontinue living up to the expectations of others based on obsolete definitions of who we are. This is especially true in our relationships with our parents who always perceive us as their children, rather than adults. We often revert to childish responses to them as they expect. This does not mean that we lose all respect and consideration for them, but that we respond as adults and that they treat us as adult progeny capable of directing our own lives. This is the most difficult situations, as our parents always expect us to be obedient.

A wise parent understands their role in their children’s lives. As a parent, it is our responsibility to raise our children to be positive, productive, happy, self-supporting an independent members of society. If parents keep children in a subjugated role in our lives, we are doing them a grave disservice. Furthermore, we’re sending a message that we did not do a good job of helping them to become independent entities, but also that they are not capable adults. As a parent, while giving sage advice when I think it is needed, my basic policy is to “stay out of grown folks business,” allowing my children to make and correct their own mistakes and live their lives as they see fit ; regardless of my opinion.

This is one of the many labels that we encounter each day in our relationships with others. Is up to us to determine if we still fit into the perceived definitions of labels apply to us. When they do not, we must become resistant to falling back into these false expectations. In this way we continue to progress in a forward motion.

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