José often tells me to blog about something, and I’m afraid I don’t always give him the credit. It was he who suggested I blog about the gourds. I’m glad I did. The other day, he reminded me about something my aunt had told us a while back and suggested I blog about it.
Why Name It?
Apparently my cousin, a teenager at the time, undertook to do some cooking for her brother’s birthday party. She decided to cook some chicken and using various ingredients available in the house rustled up a chicken curry. Then she asked her parents to taste it. My aunt thought it tasted really good. But my uncle (a good cook himself) asked her what it was supposed to be. My cousin said, “Chicken curry.” He said, “This doesn’t taste like chicken curry.” My cousin said something to the effect of, “There you made me name it, and that spoiled it.”
How true, and how wise – we often spoil our enjoyment of things when we label them. Instead of enjoying the dish for what it was, my uncle sought to compare it with his notion of ‘chicken curry.’ Similarly we have notions of many things – beauty, spirituality, comfort. And we get stuck with these notions. A person has to look just so, to be called beautiful. An experience has to be in just a particular way to be called spiritual. A person has to act in a specific way to be called loving. I could go on.
I have many fixed notions that prevent me from appreciating people just the way they are, or events as they unfold. Labels also prevent us from being creative and coming up with new ideas (or in this case, new recipes!).
A name is a label, and as soon as there is a label, the ideas disappear and out comes label-worship and label-bashing, and instead of living by a theme of ideas, people begin dying for labels… and the last thing the world needs is another religion. Richard Bach
Are you too guilty of ‘naming’ things and spoiling them?
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