My friend Carol always tells me that we are a label happy society. That unless we put a label on something, we aren't content. Every so-called condition must be labeled.
At first I just listened to her ramble on; sometimes she would just be commenting, sometimes ranting. As someone who has always been labeled, I didn't give much heed to her ideas on this matter. I am, after all, one of these labeled people she is referring to. I have been labeled bi-polar. I have been labeled ADHD. I have spent thousands of dollars with doctors and counselors to get these labels. Interesting enough, I know I'm not bi-polar, even though they insist on continuing to classify me as such. I might be ADHD, but if I am, I consider it something to celebrate, not a curse at all.
But since I've begun to write for my local newspaper, the Grant County Review, I have been getting some mighty interesting feedback from my readers. As it turns out, all the interesting little quirks that I thought were so abnormal aren't so abnormal at all. In fact, they are very normal. Apparently the only abnormal thing about me is the fact that I am bold enough, or just crazy enough, to write publicly about them! Everyone else has the same experiences, they are just too embarrassed to share them.
Well now, that is very interesting. And here all these years I've thought there was something wrong with me.
Ok, maybe there is. Maybe telling others about my embarrassing moments qualifies as having something wrong with me. But I don't think so. I think I just like to make others laugh, I think I just like to share funny stories, because we all need more joy in our days. And all these silly, embarrassing moments are too funny not to share.
So I've decided that Carol is quite smart and has a good handle on the whole labeling issue. I've thought for a long time that all these kids that are getting labeled as ADHD and Hyper-Active are getting an unfair shake, because the label has a negative connotation, and it really isn't a negative issue. The traits that go along with these so-called labels are actually quite wonderful. We just need to understand that teaching children basic self discipline and respect for others will make a huge difference in their lives. And it can be done, despite a society that seems to think we can teach dogs to obey and do tricks, but can't teach our children how to sit still and behave in certain situations.
I think I'll choose to keep the crazy label, though. I kind of like being crazy. It makes life fun.