I watched a YouTube video the other day about a draft dodger I knew. It is a story worth telling and reading about. I’ll call him Claude.
This young fellow was struggling to make a living. He had been conscripted into the military and sent to a foreign land to fight for the cause. His best friend was killed in action. Claude eventually got his release and was free to struggle to make a living.
He was making a go of life. Nothing extraordinary, mind you.
Then his country passed legislation so that young men could be conscripted into the military. The country was going to war and needed the armed forces bolstered from a peacetime level. Claude decided to leave his homeland and travelled to England, settling in London. He avoided conscription.
Fortunately, his skills were transferable, and he again made a living and got by. After about five years, the need to meet the war effort ended, and he returned to his home country.
He returned to his self-employment work with success slowly gaining. By the end of his working life, he was considered very successful and became known worldwide.
What is the name of this draft dodger, you ask?
Why, none other than Claude Monet, the renowned painter of gardens and water lilies. By the way, while in London, he painted many landmarks in a unique misty, moody style and described by an art critique of the time as being unfinished and downright ugly.
How we use labels can shut down our critical thinking. A short one-word label tends to be the end of our proper understanding of another human. Think about the following examples; the cancer lady, widow, homeless, immigrant, gay, jock, teenager, trucker, and finally, draft dodger.
What were your thoughts about the story of the draft dodger I wrote about before you knew who he was? I used an additional label, painter. I broadened the possibilities. How did your thinking change?
Please give this a bit of a think. Try to recall somebody you’ve often used a one-word label to refer to them. Your intent doesn’t need to be good or bad. Most labels come predefined. That’s why we use them. Quick, easy. What is another accurate label you could use? Could you mix up the labels when referring to this person?
I’m curious about your thoughts. Please share your bit of a think below.
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