Labels - Their role in PeaceMaking (book excerpt)
Labels are a choice, not a fact. Recognized as such, they can have no role in peacemaking. Among those, therefore, who purport to be about peace or peacemaking, ceasing the use of labels only makes perfect sense. If you still have doubts or want to understand more, keep reading:
(1) Is there agreement that the use of labels to identify people may foster experiences of separation, inequality, confusion, misunderstanding, conflict, and even war?
(2) Is there also agreement that none of those experiences listed in (1) are either desirable or in any way conducive towards peace?
If there is agreement on both (1) and (2) then I would suggest that each person adopt, as a feature of your overall purpose, the conscientious objection to the use of labels in written or facilitative rhetoric.
In simpler English, what I'm suggesting is that both written and spoken rhetoric actively moves apparently polarized parties into equal alignment with each other. Examples are as follows:
Catholics and Protestants become simply Christians, then Humans
Christians, Jews, Muslims become Humans
Men and Women become Humans
Palestinians and Israelis become Humans
Sufis and Kabbalists become Mystics, then become Humans
I tried to provide examples of the way to find conceptual equality. The application of these ideas could of course vary depending on the situation within which you find yourself as a peacemaker, however, the idea here is that inherent in any realistic understanding of peace is the presumed equality of all members of humanity, ideas, objects, and yes ETs as well. Inequality is a choice, not a fact, and one only sees inequality if it is, in some way, valuable to the seer - that, however, does not make inequality a fact. Rhetoric then should, in describing current, past or future situations, not utilize labels to either divide or indict participants in any situation.
So, all that said, a no-label campaign means that we, ourselves, stop using labels and we promote stopping the use of labels in the everyday casual dialog to the more public communication forums.
Yes, I recognize what might appear to be an apparent impracticality to the suggestion, but I would simply respond to such a comment with a question. If you really desire peace, doesn't it make sense to adopt and practice the resonant attributes of that which you desire (peace) in every aspect of life? Personal investments in apparent differences between various types of people is the certain and sure way to conflict, hasn't a not-so-close examination of history yielded this generalizable truth?