I believe I am indefinable

Breanna - Damascus, Oregon
Entered on April 30, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe I am indefinable

As I sat at my favorite coffee shop where a friend and I sipped from ceramic mugs, I realized that I do not even know her. We go to school together, have class together every other day, but I find I know very little about who she actually is. What I thought of her simply unraveled before my eyes and I realized that I had judged her before I even knew the true her. As we sat there talking, I asked her if she was a Democrat or a Republican, (with the presidential election coming up and all), and she said, I agree with some things that the Democrats believe in and I agree with some of the things that the Republicans believe in, so I guess I am neither. Even when we think we know someone it is impossible to put a label on him or her. It seems that everything has to be labeled, even people.

We use labels to describe each other, most of the time we don’t even realize we are doing it. We label people by their height, weight, skin color, even what coffee they order in the morning. But can we really describe someone in a word or two? I don’t think we can, because I believe that I am indefinable.

People label me as a 20 something year old, white, American, female, but those are only words. My age, my sex, my race, nothing can define me. We spend so much time trying to identify everyone in our lives that we forget how complex the human being really is. What do these words even mean? We see everything in black and white. Democrat or Republican, Rich or Poor, Healthy or Sick, are we ever really one or the other?

The world is made up of grey and I think we fear the idea that we actually have to dig deeper than a simple adjective. People are not a word. They are a not even a paragraph, they are a novel that keeps getting longer, more intricate, more interesting. When I listened to my friend tell me about her passions and her fears, I began to see the real her. I saw past the labels that even I have placed on her. I think people naturally judge others from appearance at first, but it is something that we can overcome, something we have to overcome. There is so much we can learn from each other if we take the time to find out what it is.

I have learned that we cannot be defined. We do not have the right to define others. In fact I believe that I cannot even define myself, yet. I am still learning and growing everyday. This leads me to discover new things about myself that even I didn’t know before. I cannot say definitively who I am when my life experience is constantly shaping me. Now, I will never again ask someone whether they are a Democrat or a Republican, I will ask them what they believe.