‘That which we call a rose/ By any other name would smell as sweet’.(From Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet.)
When we are born, we are given a first name, a surname, and some may have one or more names in the middle of those two. As we grow up, going through the education system, it is our surname which dominates and is used to identify us. It would sound a bit silly being called by your surname at home. Everyone would answer at the same time. I’m the youngest of six, so shouting “Breakspear, phone!” would’ve brought a stampede my way.
I’ve had “ooh, you don’t look like a David” as well as, “you’re a typical David, you are.” Take David out, replace it with your own name, and no doubt, you’ve heard it yourself.
Name: A word, or words, that a person is known by.
Names are one thing, labels are another.
As the saying goes, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.’
Labels can destroy you!
It is so easy, especially with how fast and instant life is these days, to rely on pre-existing labels, or beliefs, to judge others as a group rather than see them as an individual.
One of those labels, and there’s many I could have chosen, is the label of criminal. Or prisoner, as the former will inevitably become the latter.
But what does a criminal/prisoner look like?
Then again, what does a victim look like?
And can one be both?
If you only read the Daily Mail, you can be forgiven for thinking our prisons only hold murderers, rapists, paedophiles, and terrorists. Yes! There are people in prison convicted of those crimes, but it’s only a fraction of a bigger story called, the criminal justice system.
So, please, if you take anything away from this blog, I would like it to be the understanding that we are all individuals.
One of us.
Even people who commit crime.
Labels, however, are for clothes.