Check out moments where teammates haven’t trusted each other. Like in Washington, in sports a lack of trust can have serious consequences.
Not all labels are bad. Yes, many labels are divisive and are used in harmful and abusive ways. But other labels are not only good; they are goals that we pursue. Good labels are those labels that we positively use and willingly bestow on ourselves and others, because they describe attributes that we all seek.
As a contributor to NoLabels.org, I proudly join those who strive to eliminate the terrible legacy of labels in our political system. Notwithstanding whatever value they may have once had, today political labels are used to divide and denigrate. Our national dialogue would certainly be better off without them.
And just like in today’s political arena, there are other labels that are all too often used to produce a similar negative effect, despite their legitimacy or accuracy. Religious labels, national labels, gender labels, ethnic labels, and the like, are all bandied about with vitriol, instead of respect. This is not only sad; it is shameful. Our relationships, our language and our civility, our respect for others and our self-respect, all suffer.
But there are good labels that need to be fostered, now more than ever. The good label is a label that describes a positive human goal, a worthwhile achievement, or an improvement in the human condition.
She is Healthy. He is Educated. They are Free. These are examples of positive attributes, of good labels, that are noble goals of our public policy, or at least, they should be.
Imagine if everyone not only abandoned the negativity of political labels, but that everyone also focused on ways that we could achieve the positive attributes of good labels.
Examples would be everywhere. People would be well nourished and educated. The environment would be greener. Government functioning would be effective, respected, and popular. We would all be respectful.
Good labels are positive labels. What a simple idea. What a wonderful goal. What a difficult challenge in today’s political environment. Go NoLabels.org; go! When you succeed, we will have more room for a positive national conversation.
Art Bushkin is a writer, philanthropist and social activist. His principal causes are Harnessing the Power of Technology for Social Good and Devout Politics: A World Working Well. For more on Art, check out ArtBushkin.com.