Labels and Understanding

Today, this from Anthony DeMelllo:

“The trouble with people is that they’re busy fixing things they don’t even understand.” 

DeMello goes on to explain that our “shortcut” to understanding is often to label.  It occurs to me that this explains a lot about current events.  Rather than try to understand “the other” I slap a label on them/it and move forward under the mistaken belief that because I labelled them/it I now understand them/it.  But, as DeMello notes:

“Understanding has stopped at that moment.  You slapped a label on her, and if the label carries undertones of approval or disapproval [and it usually does], so much the worse.  How are you going to understand what you disapprove of, or what you approve of, for that matter?”

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