It is Truthful Tuesday!
So, I want to talk about labelling and boxing, both of which are disastrous as they put limiting boundaries on possibilities, they also lower expectations, and obscure realities. Labelling and boxing are part of the reasons why people don’t attain great heights.
What is more disturbing is that people not only do it to others, they also do it to themselves.
I know at this point that you may wonder what I mean by labelling and boxing or you might be wondering how it has a negative effect in life.
Labelling and boxing, to me, is deciding and concluding that people must act in a particular way or events must turn out in a certain way, and if it doesn’t happen so, it makes you uncomfortable or you simply reject its authenticity. I need not tell you how myopic and dangerous such views are on life and what it can lead to; mediocrity, majoring in the minor and general backwardness.
There is everything wrong with saying you can’t achieve a certain height just because you believe it is too high.
There is everything wrong with telling a man that he is not supposed to cook meals in the home because he is the man.
There is everything wrong with telling a woman that she should not bring out money from her salary and take care of some things in the home because her husband is to show he is a man by taking all the burdens at home until he collapses under the weight of the stress of being alone in the struggle.
There is everything wrong with the following labels; you are not supposed to be able to get that high in life, he is not supposed to cook when he has a wife, and she is not supposed to spend on her home when she has a husband.
Before I continue with my argument, let me say something straight.
For those labels put on us or boxes we were put in by our Creator, we have no right to take them off or change them, because it would mean you are trying to change your essence and your true identity. We try to remove inculcated values. When we try to change who we were made as we end up creating a never-ending confusion and the world is confused enough, don’t you think?
So, apart from the above case, we have no right to put labels on people or put them in boxes. I need you to realize that you are among the people you shouldn’t label or put in boxes because when you say you can’t do something, you just became your own limitation, you just set your own boundary which is always limited.
I remember a funny experience which shows how misleading labels can be. When I was in the University, there was a fight between two groups and so the students were running for cover as the fight began during school hours when lectures were going on.
I was with a friend and we were running together but decided to rest for a while under a cashew tree. So we were plucking and eating the fruits when the race began again. I zoomed off and noticed after a while that my friend was not by my side. I stopped and looked back and realized that my dear friend was looking for me behind when I was already ahead.
I have always been on the big side, so it will be easy to conclude that I can’t run as fast as someone smaller. My friend is smaller than me in size and so I guess she assumed I couldn’t have gone ahead of her in the race for survival. That was a wrong labelling.
I had to call her to catch up with me.
This is not a serious example, but the message is so clear. Why do we think we know everything? Why do we think we have seen it all? Why do we allow our small minds put limitations on things which can be greater than we can ever imagine?
For you who say you can’t go through school because you have no one, you are your own limitation. It may take every ounce of strength you have, it may mean you praying until your knees bleed, it may mean you living on the bare necessities, but you can go through school. Yes, you can.
For you who say, that your child cannot become something useful because he or she has completely gone overboard, you are limiting the possibility of that child. It may mean you doing things differently so you find a way to reach the child, it may mean you calling on the Creator to renew the child He gave you, it may mean you always pronouncing the expectation at every given opportunity, but it is possible; that child can become something useful. Yes, it is.
I am a Christian and one of my favourite promises from Jesus is “Everything is possible to him that believes.”
Did you get that? EVERYTHING!
So rip off that label, get out that box and explore greatness, attempt great things and pursue excellence. I tell people that we need to get past asking, “Is it is easy?” instead we should be asking, “Is it possible?” God says everything is possible.
I can go on and on about labels and boxes as related to humans, but the worst of labelling and boxing is when we label and put God in a box. You wonder how?
Maybe you say need money and God gives you a job which will give you money. You were expecting a magical credit alert, or a helper so you don’t see the job for what it is; an opportunity to get something stable. So, you say your prayer was not answered because you wanted magic and God gave you a miracle.
Or you were looking for money for food and transport fare, and you get some foodstuffs from a friend who came back from home and decided to share some of her goodies with you. Also, a friend was in your area with a car and since he is going your way, he decides to give you a ride, but you still want the cash in your hand. You go about saying God is not answering your prayers because you have labelled Him as a cash-giving God even though He gave you the things you needed the money for.
I think you understand what I mean.
Hope is without labels.
Faith is out of the boxes.
Rip off the labels, get out the boxes, take the limit off yourself, take the limit off your fellow humans, and take the limit off God.
Finally, for you who have been labelled or put in one box or the other, it is an opportunity you know; an opportunity to shock them.
By Joy Nwankwo
Want someone to talk to? Reach me at [email protected]