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Dominica weekly is a personal weblog about the nature island of Dominica.


We live in a culture that uses labels as a means of understanding the world and the people living in it. As a result, many of us find ourselves laboring under a label that has a negative connotation. Unless we can find a way to see the good in such a label, we may feel burdened by an idea of ourselves that is not accurate. It is important to remember that almost nothing in this world is all good or all bad, and most everything is a complex mixture of gifts and challenges. In addition, different cultures revere certain qualities over others, but this does not mean that these qualities are inherently good or bad. For example, a culture that elevates outgoing behavior will label a shy person in a negative way, calling them antisocial. In truth, the ability to spend time alone is one that most great artists, mystics, and visionaries share.

Many famous artists and musicians were considered to be isolated loners or disruptive troublemakers, or sometimes both, yet these people altered history and contributed to the world an original vision or advances in our understanding of the universe. We should try to remember this as we examine our own selves, and when we label others because they don’t behavior like us or share different opinions. There is a bright side to any characterization.

If you have been labeled, remember that all you have to do to see the positive side is to turn the label around. For example, when I first met my fiancée I considered her to be overly emotional, and the fact that I have perceived her in such way got me in a lot of trouble in the early stages of our relationship. But notice, too, the gifts of being able to feel and express your emotions, in a world that doesn’t always encourage that and labels you to be weak. Being labeled as overly emotional, might help you see yourself as brave or open-hearted enough to stay alive to your feelings.

Everyone of us at one time or another in our lives have been labeled as something we’re not; sometimes it’s merely to the amusement of others – particularly here on our nature island. But as you turn these labels around, let them guide you on your way.

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