Looking Beyond Labels

People loooooove to label themselves, and even more so people love to label other people. Sometimes they want and work hard to get certain labels put on themselves, but sometimes, they do not like the ones being put on them. There are lots of labels…

Geek, jock, redneck, obese, depressed, tree-hugger, left-wing, right-wing, middle-class, super-rich, black, white, yellow, atheist, Christian, Jewish, Methodist, Protestant…

At the same time a label is attached, a set of complimentary attributes is attached on whomever the label belongs. Moreover, everyone has his own set of adjectives to slap on to other people. It works like this… You are a geek, and therefore you must be a genius who likes Star Wars but are socially inept and boring. Or, you look like a jock, and therefore you must be proficient in many sports but you probably do not have a brain and will always act like a frat boy.

You can obviously observe that everyone is different in his or her unique ways. However, there is a distinction from simply observing, accepting, understanding, and appreciating the differences than labeling each other in a desecrating and segregating manner, which is what labels are mostly about nowadays. It is absurd and stupid but it is happening all around us with high frequency in our society. People are people. People are not labels.

Do you know the notion that often follows implicitly the sentences that label?

I am such and such and you are not…
You are such and such…
…therefore, I am better than you. Ha!
…therefore, I am right and you are wrong. Loser!
…therefore, you suck. Go home and cry to your mama!

It is natural human instinct to seek security, comes as a survival instinct of the animal kingdom. People probably flock to these labels because label provides them a sense of security by allowing them to associate with groups. However, there comes a time when we need to see that it is hurting us all together. People have complexity and at the same time, lots of commonality.

Label separates us. Label creates hurt feelings. Label often leads to anger, resentment, and hatred. Label limits a person within what the label stands for. In a way, label is another way ego manifests itself, where a set of “should-have”, “should-be” attributes and qualities that is provided through labels.

Label makes us judge prematurely, and keeps us from genuinely connecting with people. It holds us back from the exerting the effort to get to know others for who they really are. What we can do instead is, throw away the labels and open the mind and heart to truly listen, understand, and feel who someone really is. This is the way to create meaningful relationship.

One great but sad example is how people are “diagnosed” with depression and other so-called physcological symptoms these days. You can tell I am not a big fan of this. It is sad because these fellow human beings would get labeled and forever carry a stigma. It is sad because the best cure for many of them is for others to sincerely care, show kindness, and perhaps connect with them as persons. However, once they are labeled, people treat them differently, shun them, and call them creepy, weird…

I am not upset but to use myself as an example… I am Chinese and was born in Hong Kong, and I am a computer science graduate, which tosses me into the geek label. I may have some attributes associated with those labels, but I as a person is so far and remote from being ONLY what those labels denote. I am me, not those labels. I am me, not my name Kin, because name is just something that other people call you, as in label. I am me.

I am especially displeased with the events that label causes in terms of religion. Not that religion is a bad. You are this and I am that, and we cannot be friends. You are atheists and you must be a cruel, cold-blooded being. People focus way too much on what religion they belong — the label — to a level of obsession. Is that what religion is about? Does it really matter which one you or others choose? My answer is no. You know what is one common theme amongst the teachings of all religions, new and old, large or small?

Compassion — a genuine concern and understanding and wish of well being for people and nature because they are all connected.

The moment people focus on labels, the moment they lose sight of compassion. Religion itself has a good purpose, but people have the tendency to lose focus on compassion participating in the other aspects in religion.

Label separates people. I say get rid of all labels. Stop using labels.

Originally posted 2008-05-01 23:16:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

The Best Answer From Neo In Matrix Revolution on Choice

I got to watch Matrix Revolutioin once again recently. During the somewhat ridiculous, “dragonball-style” fight between Agent Smith and Neo in the finale, Neo got pummeled to the ground as the enormous raindrops continue to mercilessly hammer on his drenched-self… The furious Agent Smith insists and prosecutes Neo on the futility of the Neo’s struggle and the meaninglessness of the human race…

Agent Smith: Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? For more that your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can’t win. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?

Neo: Because I choose to.

I love how he simply responded, “Because I choose to.” I love it, I absolutely love Neo’s response. And I also love Agent Smith’s twisted facial expression to the response.

At the end of the day, we need to understand that every moment, at every crossroad, is about us making choices with all reasonings aside. The choice can range from being simple as choosing what to eat for dinner to something difficult as what to do with a relationship. Here is the truth. You are unhappy? Because you choose to. You are stuck in the same boring job? Because you choose to. You are very healthy? Because you choose to. Let’s face it. Be it positive or negative, whatever happens in life are direct consequences from the choices that we make. Consciously thinking and knowing that our very own selves are making the choices is what will empower us to take charge, to be proactive in life. Note the keyword: consciously.

Next time you get all the “why” questions: Why do you work so hard? Why do you love me? Why do you follow the strict diet? Why do you care? Why even set a goal? Why do you persist on the same path when it can get so painful and lonely? Why, why, why…

The simple answer can be, “Because I choose to.”

Also next time you are at a crossroad or desire some changes in life.

You are the one making the choice. You choose. No one else does.

This post is closely related to Stop blaming, take responsibility

Originally posted 2007-06-13 23:56:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Take Responsibility, No Blaming

Nowaday I think we as people are some very curious creatures. At the same time of possessing a mentality that we are capable to control anything and everything, inside and outside ourselves, we are also finding more and more excuses to promote the notion that we cannot help ourselves of becoming the way we are (ie. genetics).

However, it is my sincere belief that at some point in life, we have to begin to take true responsibility. We have to acknowlege that my world, my life, ME!, is a direct result of my intention, thoughts, and decisions because if we don’t, we are in fact implicitly acknowledging that we are helpless little human beings, which is exactly against what we think and what we want to think we are anyways.

I accept 100% my being as it is and I take full responsibility for it (as my own doings).

There, that’s basically all I should need to say today…what? Explanation…arrrr…fine..

As a child, there are a lot of decisions made for us, which are not under our control. But as we grow and become physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially independent, we have to start taking responsibility of ourselves. We are no longer the responsibilities of other people (parents, friends, relatives, bf/gf…).

To advance into adulthood is the realization that my reality is my responsibility.

I do not blame others for what happened to me.

It’s a bit unfortunate that our current society is built upon blaming others people, just take a look at the judicial system. “My son died of alcohol poisoning in a frat party…I’ll sue his friends…I’ll sue the school…” C’mon, I know it’s a tragedy for the parents, but the kid made his own decision to do what he did and he met his destiny. (yes, this may sound very harsh) And that’s yet without saying PERHAPS that the parents lack certain discipline/teachings in certain area for the child.

I have also witness real life example of someone blaming another for things that happened (actually, not happened) because of his own decisions. Quite sad.

Ok, so that was a very strong example. The idea is a bit hard to swallow and to get into our system. But again, without this, we are saying that we are helpless. I assure you there is a new sense of freedom if you do grasp it :)

Our brain is the most powerful possession that we have. It does so much processing of information for us everyday. However, we cannot fully utilize its power if we do not accept responsibility in order to make decisions on our lives base on those information, and perhaps with some gut feeling. Without first accepting responsibility, we had indirectly given up choosing our own decision, choosing our own reaction. We are letting others to make the decision for us.

If we come a full realization of this idea responsibility, we can become a much more proactive person and be able to accomplish many things in life! We worry less about what others think or feel about us, because that’s their decisions to make. All we can do is make the choice to give our best efforts, and the rest will have its flow. What others think cannot dictate our feelings because we are master of our reality.

I’m responsible for my reality and I’m taking control of it.

Combining with awareness, we should…

  • be aware when we commit a mistake, realize it’s our responsibility. Then face the result, take corrective actions, and learn from the mistake
  • also be aware when we make an improvement because of ourselves. Then recognize ourselves and feel mighty good about it :)

Originally posted 2012-03-20 09:45:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Money is not the Root of all Evil


The world appears to be obsessed about money.
The entire human society runs on the circulation of money.
Almost everyone is into making money, one way or another.

We also often observe that…
People dedicate their lives hoarding money.
People stuck worrying everyday about money.
Friends turn against each other for money.
Family and relatives break blood bonds on money issues.
People of authority sometimes do horrible things for money at the cost of the public.

The list keeps going… but…
Money is not evil.

People mistakenly carry this antagonistic mentality about money despite they would like and even love money themselves. So then, they prefer not to talk about it because of their mentality. They may worry that having and liking money will cause other people to think they are evil. However, whether they show it or not, they want more money. And don’t we all. What a paradoxical relationship.

The society supplies and feeds this negative connotation that the word “money” carries because of the bad things that happen when money is involved and what people would do for money.

Money is evil is a misconception and self-limiting thoughts. It also makes us irresponsible to believe that.

At the end of the day, humans are the ones responsible for the evil.
The people who made the choice to do bad things for money are responsible.
There is no other explanation.
Stop blaming.
The responsibility is on us.

Money is not a negative thing.
Money is just a tool.
It is just a dead object.
It is just an invented abstraction for us to trade like people trade goods in the ancient time.
Let us stop putting the responsibility on a dead and abstract thing.

You may also say that money leads or creates greed, but does it really? The fact is that greed is a result of our own thoughts. Human creates greed, and if money has anything to do with it, it is that human allows money to influence themselves to become greedy.

Money is like any other tool we use in our everyday life.
Screw driver, hammer, drill, etc.
People can kill people with those tools, but we never say a screw driver is evil, a hammer is evil. Heck, we can kill people with our fists, aren’t we the evil one then?

As a tool, money provides us leverage.
It gives us power…
Ah, power…
That is the key.
That is where we can attribute why people consider money evil.
As the old saying goes, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Money provides power in this society.
Lots of money provides lots of power.
Having an inexhaustible amount of money means absolute power.
Money cannot buy everything but you will have “nearly” absolute power, at least.
So I suppose we can suppose that having a lot of money can screw with your mind if you had not master your mind in the first place.

That is exactly why I write this post.
To get your minds out of the gutter where money is evil.
To clarify that money is a tool.
Money is just a tool.
It is neither good or evil inherently.
It is all about what you do with it that matters.
It is why it is important to understand your values and priorities in life.
What you do with it will dictate its usefulness and meaning, which is why hoarding money for no reason is not good (save, save, save… without spending). And that is exactly what some people are doing.

Another good reason for the clarification is when people think money is evil and as a result…
They don’t think about it.
They don’t learn about money management.
They don’t read about personal finance.
They don’t learn the rules and laws concerning money.
Which becomes a bit of a problem…

It is going to be a problem because they won’t care to read my post!
Ok, just kidding.

It is going to be a problem because in this society, we simply cannot do away with money.
Their ignorance will incur extra cost.
Their ignorance will make them lose their hard-earned money.
They will likely be trapped in “rat race”.
They will likely stay poor.
If they are born rich, they may cease to have financial stability.

Any of that happening would suck. Majorly suck. And it sucks for me too because it is my intention and my hope that people can improve, as I always insist. A hope where people can have happier life because happiness is what we are looking for, after all.

Why don’t you help me spread this message out?

Originally posted 2008-04-17 22:39:44. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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