By Caroline Whitney
The rain outside is turning into hail,
Pounding down on the cars and making scratches and bruises appear.
Just like labels do to people.
Am I a nerd? I mean I care about my grades.
Am I a jock? I do like to play sports.
Am I too preppy? I like to always try and find the positive in everything.
Am I a Democrat? I’m more liberal on certain things than others.
Am I a Republican? Do I stand too tall?
Is he a misogynistic male? Most definitely!
But I have to pick and choose my battles,
I need to try and let it go.
Because there will be a time…
When I’ll need to fight a battle that’ll be a lot worse
Than a boy who was raised in a home and taught that women were “inferior”
Is he racist?
Is she a drug addict!?
Is he gay? Yeah, so?
I heard someone say that he thinks that guy is going in the wrong direction
Because he gives out hugs with too much affection.
So? I’m assuming you’re homophobic and I have to respect your view
But just because he doesn’t like girls doesn’t make him any less of a person than me or you.
I could go on and on and so could others,
But the world is what we choose to make of it
Judgments and all.
There will always be stereotypes,
Always be labels,
There will always be opinions —that others have—
That I absolutely despise.
But I need to learn to respect them
Because they’re still a person…
Even with our contrasting perspectives.
Am I this? Am I that?
Am I good? Am I bad?
Did she do this? Did he do that?
I don’t know? Maybe you should just ask…
Instead of forming an opinion of someone
Without all the facts.
(A person with a mind, a heart, and a soul.)
Call me this, call me that
But you need to have concrete facts to support your extreme beliefs
We all have our opinions—similar and different.
I just want respect for mine and for others.
No matter their hair color, eye color, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, mannerisms, their likes,
or their dislikes.
And I’ll give you my respect in return
Because if we don’t learn to listen to each other
The world’s progress will become stagnant for the days to come.
Please make your opinion of me and others
On what we do and what we stand for.
Not where he, she, or me grew up
Or how he, she, or me looks
In the end, there will still be people who create and read the labels.
It’s up to us whether they stick
Or change into something better.
Labels can bring frustration and sadness,
But they could also be seen as a challenge or a tunnel that can lead to our future success.
Because If we can overcome the mean comments, the crude names, or derogatory terms…
We’ll be able to feel that much more confident and accomplished….
The labels of society—will not win.
It’s you, me, us, and them,
Do not let the negativity in.
I know we’re not made of steel,
But we should always try our best to stay positive, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally, and give our wounds time to heal…
Time for us to grow.
Let positivity prevail,
Even when it’s raining hail.