On Labels

A few years ago I attempted a DIY project for my dad’s sunroom. I had this plan to paint bottles pastel, soft, soothing. We steadily began collecting bottles and jars. The hardest part about this particular project though wasn’t the painting, but peeling off the labels.

We filled our sink high with warm water, and as the opal soap bubbles drifted soft into the distance, we scrubbed hard. We scrubbed. And we scrubbed. Many times the labels were stubborn. The glue held strong and the scraps of paper refused to dissolve into smooth surface. We scrubbed even harder so that we could paint over– transforming the bottle or jar or vase into something new before our eyes. The project was harder than it seemed at first, but it was worth it.

Yesterday as I browsed my facebook feed I thought: somehow too it’s become easier for us to label people than it is for us to try and understand them. Somehow too it’s become easier to libel people than it is to reach down, untie our shoelaces, step out of our perceptions and into another’s shoes. Today I think we owe ourselves a chance to take a walk and shed some labels. It’s harder than it seems at first, but I hope it will be worth it.

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