Personally I don’t care, but others seem to have a problem with labels. Either they do not like being labeled themselves or they take issue with society labeling there kids or loved ones. Some parents will say, “Don’t you dare put a label on my angel”. Yeah okay mom and dad. I bet you wouldn’t say this if your angel’s label read “Honor Student”.
There is nothing wrong with a label in and of itself. When people can’t defend the merits of an issue, they just bitch about the name it is given, or that it has a name at all. If your little kid is the kid at school who beats the shit out of other little kids, than he gets the bully label. Sorry I did not make up the rules of the earth.
A while back, I asked a ten-year-old friend of mine, to be a guest-writer. I gave him freedom to say whatever he wanted. He chose to talk about things that made him angry. He also wrote about his ADHD. I chose the title. “His Name is Elliot, and He is ADHD” He and his mother were fine with the title. I was called out by a person I respected for my “labeling” of this young boy. While I still love my friend who took issue with my title, I found this a ridiculous comment to make.
Labels are important whether it is a person or an object. I would like to demonstrate the absurdity of this thinking with my own brand of absurdity. (here we go)
Okay “Label-Hater” Wish Granted. Let’s live in a world without labels; shall we?
You are home on a Saturday morning, and your 19-year-old son comes home with a friend. He says to you, “Mom, (or dad) This is my friend Kyle, he needs to stay with us for a couple of days. Would that be alright?”
He looks like a decent kid so you say, “Sure that would be fine.”
The next morning you are relaxing. It is a quiet Sunday morning and you sit down in your chair with a fresh cup of coffee, and the newspaper. You take the first sip, and then all of a sudden…
A black Chevy Suburban shows up and you and you wife are rushed into it for a federally subsidized vacation in the lovely Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Six months later you are released and you return home. You have no house. You have No job. You have no friends. You don’t know why do you? I’ll tell you why. Without labels, your son was not able to identify his friend with words such as; “Terrorist”, “Al Qaeda”, “Fugitive”, or “Radical Fundamentalist”. If he had these labels available to him, you could have made a more informed decision about whether to allow him to stay in your home.
So now you are homeless and will have big brother up your ass until the day you die, but at least you can continue to live in a world without labels. Let me ask you a question sir. Do you feel like a winner? I thought not.
Labels tell us important things about people. It is up to us to determine if these labels are correct.
If I am introduced to a blind person, I would appreciate being told they are blind. That way if I extend my hand in friendship and he accidentally punches me in the nuts, I will not feel the need to kick the shit out of him. When I go to the grocery store I find it awfully convenient when there are labels on cans. This makes it so much easier to plan meals, and complete my grocery list. I would also imagine if I worked for the bomb-squad and was faced with a ticking nuclear warhead, I might find comfort in the original assemblers of the device to have labeled the ground wires for me.
It doesn’t matter if it is a person or an object. Labels serve the same purpose. They are what we use to make decisions. When you see a can of artichoke hearts in a can, you may look away and determine this is unacceptable for you to consider for your dinner plans. It is the same thing when you see a person, who is an inconsiderate asshole, and then determine they are not worthy of your time. Labels are necessary.
ADHD is a set of four letters put together in a string to identify a group of people. I am thankful for this label. I appreciate this label. It is not because I have a need for everyone in my life to know I am ADHD. I don’t have a tattoo of a squirrel looking for his keys or a to-do list on my arm. It is not because I have a need for people to treat me different or special. This label helps me find and identify some of the coolest and most beautiful people I have ever met. It is the name of our club.
I don’t know why ADHD was chosen as our particular name. Perhaps the doctors thought it sounded more polite and professional than calling it, SHRC for (Shit-House-Rat-Crazy). Nevertheless, ADHD is the name of our club, and I have come to feel it has a rather bad-ass ring to it. If you don’t like it, call it something else. We won’t mind.
Is there really something so wrong with a group of people who, for most of their lives, did not belong anywhere, to finally have a way to call out to other like-minded people for support and friendship? If it weren’t for our “Label” I would not have found most of the people in my life I call friend. All of my friends know I love them. They know I need them. The name of our club doesn’t matter, but it needs a name.
Labels to not determine what you or anything else is. Sometimes things are labeled wrong. A bottle of water is not a bottle of water because the label says so. A person is not a terrorist because he has been labeled one. I am not ADHD because someone told me I was ADHD.
People and objects are just what they are. Labels are the way we categorize the types of people with whom we want or don’t want to associate. We all judge and we all rule, when it comes to our own comfort. It is up to us to determine whether a thing or a person has been labeled correctly. Don’t be ashamed of it. I’m sure as hell not.
I am Tom Nardone and you are welcome.
HEY! READ BELOW HOW TO FOLLOW TOM NARDONE
- You can join the ADHD People Facebook Group by clicking HERE. or iamtomnardone Here
- Or you can enter your email address at the top of this page and click the button that says “BE AWESOME”
- Or you could risk never hearing from me again and go through life without the benefit of our counsel, but what would be the fun in that?
- you can also find me on twitter @iamtomnardone or @adhdpeople