Our dependence on labels is killing us, figuratively and literally.

“Flyover states”. “Coastal elites”. “Country hicks”. “Urban war-zones”.

When we fail to see our dependence on labels, when we dehumanize someone and divest them of the totality of their life experience and their worth through arbitrary categorization, we in-turn dehumanize ourselves. We let tribalism and fear rule our interactions in lieu of humanity and reason.

Reason is the sum-total of humanity’s evolution to-date. Reasoning grants us vision, but without empathy it remains cold logic. For progress to continue, we must come to understand that reason, empathy, and ultimately love are inextricably linked.

We deserve to exist beyond our labels, completely visible in our totality. We deserve to stand at our full heights, arms wide and eyes fixed upon the horizon.

We all deserve more than the sum of fear—which is no sum at all.

We deserve to be more than our labels, as does the rest of the world. If we can start by dismissing our labels and peering beyond them, even just a little, we will have shifted our perspectives. And maybe—just maybe, that’s what we all need.

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