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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@facebook-540775149:disqus It is hard especially when society lives in our head 😉
@44ed285ede50426e89fd3d04ef3ac5cc:disqus Thanks for stopping by Lisa. We all do the labeling and I agree with you about the frame of reference. However, it’s sad when we use it to limit creativity and try to put every one into a box.
Yes, it is so sad for sure, especially when it does limit creativity.
A habit too hard to break and we end up hurting ourselves and others at times because of this. Thanks Anna.
Lori – labeling sure makes things easier but like you said that’s not always what’s best. I love the uniqueness of your blog and how it inspires.
How true! Something which we otherwise would’ve enjoyed unconditionally, would be ruined when we name it and compare. That’s the main reason why creativity isn’t appreciated as much it should’ve, right? I used to have similar arguments with my mom. Wise words from your cousin, Corinne! And thank you for sharing this. ❤️
Names can come with so much baggage that our vision is obscured.
On the flip side of this, however, there have been times when I’ve called something by its name and that act helped me to deal with it as it was needed.
You’re reminding me that we need to be very careful with our labels.
I think it’s true and particularly to relationships when we assign something like my best friend and we end up taking things for granted. Makes me wonder on the names of curries and delicacies…how about yummy food. Enjoyed reading this post, Corinne.
This was a great post and so true of life. Why name it? People have tried to get me to put names to my relationships, to my religious beliefs or lack of them, to me! But that is so limiting! Why can’t I just be!
You always come up with such insightful thoughts. True naming something does add limits. With the popularity of fusion food, mixed media art and even newer forms of writing, we cannot just plainly add a name and compare something innovative to what already exists.
What a wise thought? Seriously, why name it and spoil it. Many relationships have soured just because they had to be named. Just enjoy the beauty and warmth of it, everything needn’t be named.
In a way, isn’t this what has destroyed present day politics and religion?
Immediately putting a label on someone based on his religion or choice of party and then fixing them in that mental box we place all others of the same category in.
We dont look at the personality of a person anymore… instantly just place the label and judge.
Excellent point, Corinne! Labelling people or things is what causes so much strife in the world. If you’ve been following U.S. politics at all (as many of us have, lately), there are prime examples of this on a daily basis.
The most important things we sacrifice at this superficial altar is our relationships. Without a label we dont let anyone live in peace and thats the downfall of the relationship.
Very well made point there Corinne – loved this week’s musings a lot
What a good thought. Its indeed this naming practise that plays spoil sport in all the fields, you name it and then you can see the fun getting spoiled.