"The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. ”
Have you ever pondered what role you play among your friends, among your family, among your relationships?
Its so easy to become engrained in a certain character or role. And once we are classified, we hardly ever venture out of our box. Often times it begins before we even have any say in the matter. Maybe a parent designates you “the smart one”, or the “funny one”. Or maybe your peers label you as “the pretty one” or “the fun one”.
These labels and roles come about in our daily lives without anyone really thinking about it. The problem is that because we’re given this role to play so early on, we may never learn who we truly are. We adapt ourselves to fit the classification given to us, and in the process we lose the ability to be what we might have been.
Think about it. If all your life you’ve been told that you’re smart, chances are you’ll believe you’re smart and you’ll do better in school. By the same token, if you’ve always been told you’re dumb, you’ll start to believe this and will eventually stop trying.
These are just two examples though. These scenarios happen everytime a child is given a role to play. But the roles don’t stop with the situation that labeled you. Most people carry their roles with them for a lifetime.
How do you act when meeting new people? There’s a good chance you act as you do with people you already know. In essence, you recreate the role you’ve always had, whether you intend to or not.
For instance, among my group of friends I tend to be the silly, lighthearted and somewhat irresponsible one. No matter how hard I try to act differently when meeting new people, I always seem to get put into the same role. It’s frustrating because sometimes I want to be taken seriously.
But it isn’t simply about you being labeled by others. Think about how you label people. Think about how many times a day you think of someone as an adjective. What would happen if we all got to know each other as people, instead of labels?