Labels – The Good and the Bad
There are certain labels which can be helpful. Think for a moment how helpful soup, mailing or safety labels can be. Labels can provide positive direction, guidance and keep us safe.
There are certain labels which can be harmful. Think for a moment how hurtful it can be when someone labels another person in a way that is mean and unfair. We can be very unkind when we make assumptions or judgements about someone based on what we see or think we see.
Shelter Nova Scotia understands dramatically the impact of positive and negative labels. Sadly, we see and hear an astonishing amount of hurtful labels every day. The men and women we serve are human beings, first and foremost. Each comes from a background that may not be much different than someone else’s background. The biggest difference is that during the struggles they endured, their support network either disappeared or did not exist. Bad things can happen to good people and it is the support of caring individuals that can help someone successfully navigate the obstacles life places before them.
What works against a person’s progress is derogatory labels. Imagine what it must feel like to have someone call you – repeatedly – a criminal, bum, vagrant, no good bastard, drain on society, bottom feeder, nut job, lazy, crackhead, junkie or panhandler. These are horrible labels. They are labels that pierce the spirit of Hope. They’re labels that impede progress. And, they’re unnecessary.
When an individual begins their journey towards success, positive reinforcement is critical to that person’s positive trajectory. Part of that positive movement can be things like Warm Words.
We know our community is comprised of amazing human beings who have kindness, compassion and positivity to offer. These human beings can be found everywhere in our community, including our halfway houses and homeless shelters.
Let’s remember how helpful labels can be. The labels that provide positive direction, guidance and keep us safe are the very labels needed to help the men and women we serve move forward.
The positive label you use just might change a life.