Tim Cook, CEO of Apple came out this past week. Being someone in the public eye, this meant he wrote a press release for this announcement. Like many well-known people who “come out”.., he was already out to his family and friends. This means his public coming out was for the rest of us.
On the one hand I love this because it sends the message that you can be authentic AND successful, to the people who struggle with esteem around their sexual identity. Especially young people who are scanning the horizon looking for role models and inspiration to inform their own self-acceptance process.
At the same time, this announcement creates a label for Mr. Cook. It puts a banner on him that will be used to identify and describe him to the world going forward. It is as if we need these adjectives or labels to sort out which category someone belongs in. And of course depending on each of our own perspectives, we determine if the new label is positive or negative.
Millions of people now have a ‘positive’ view of Mr. Cook and what he represents to them. Personally, I fall in this camp… As I loved his statement about his being gay being one of his “greatest gifts”.
At the same time, millions of others see this as ‘negative’, because it means he is now associated with something that for them is unnatural, wrong or bad.
And let’s not forget the majority of people to whom this will be a completely neutral experience. They won’t give it a second thought. His announcement does not create a blip on their radar screen. However, they too will see the label every time it’s used in a media story (pro or con).
It is this obsession with labeling one another that is really on my mind this week. And trust me, I am not just referring to gay and straight. We do it with everything. Gender, occupations, religion, race, financial status, nationality, health, or you name it. If we can label it; we will. One of my favorite labels that we use in the spiritual community is “high” or “low” vibration! And yes, I use this all the time.
The more I think about this, the more I see us using our minds to emulate a computer. We are trying to use binary code, (0 or 1 – Yes or No) to determine how we think and feel. I guess in this day and age with the proliferation of computers and mobile devices this shouldn’t be a surprise. Even for those who think they are computer illiterate, there is a basic understanding of the ‘if, and, or’ foundation of these devices. It has become part of our societal consciousness.
We are adding up the ones and zeros to make sense of what is around us.
But we are so much more than that. We are amazingly unique in every way! We are aware of the uniqueness of our fingerprints and our DNA. Yet, somehow, we have this idea we can be sorted and categorized. You are in this group over here.., I am in that group over there.
Most of the time we think we are using the label on or for someone else. The truth is we use this system of labels to know ourselves better. We are all on a journey to discover our uniqueness, whether we are aware of this or not. We compare ourselves to others to know ourselves better. We measure in better than/less than or like/dislike. Each time we use a label to define ourselves or someone else, we think we have achieved a new level of clarity about ourselves (or them).
In reality, these labels will always be to limiting. We are infinite beings. We are here to learn and expand our awareness of All-That-Is. We are here to know and connect with our true Self more and we do this through interacting with everything around us.
Explore, examine, discover, and reveal the depth and beauty of Self and Other, but let’s forget the labels. We are too fluid and expansive to be restricted by something so small. Today they might appear to fit, but tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow we may discover something unique and amazing about ourselves that if we are too attached to a label, we may miss or never let in!
We are being called to our strange and wonderful uniqueness! I say NO labels!
With Light, Love, and Laughter