Labels that Can’t Be Taken Away

We recently toured Bea’s new school for next year. Outside a kindergarten classroom, a sign read, We are authors. We are artists. We are learners. We are kind. We are mathematicians  We are helpful. We are friends.

danbo-2105835_960_720I just wrote about claiming labels and how some labels are so hard to claim. For me, those big labels that call up people who have worked far harder than I have for them: writer, historian, activist.

I just finished reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. The first part of the book is a memoir of his years in several Nazi Concentration Camps, including Auschwitz. Frankl describes an initial experience of reaching the camp, when every possession is stripped from the prisoners. For him, his most important physical item was his early manuscript on his study of logotherapy.

What Frankl learns is that those who survived found labels that cannon be taken away. They found something beyond their present circumstances to cling to. His hope of seeing his wife and unborn child again as well as the hope of rewriting his research kept him alive.

This has made me reflect on those labels that I have so much trouble with. Perhaps I need to focus on labels that hold far more truth, that can’t be taken away. Even the precious label of mom could be taken, but what is deeper than that?

Friend, loyal, loved, loving, connector. These are all labels that go far beyond anything that can be taken from me.

Our last MOPS meeting was yesterday and before it started our leader gave us a heart with beloved written on it. She had us put it over our name tags as a reminder that above all, we are beloved.

That’s a truthful label that cannot be taken.

What are some true labels you need to remember? How do you separate those labels that can be taken from those that are far deeper?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “truth.”


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

8 thoughts on “Labels that Can’t Be Taken Away”

  1. Annie, what a beautiful, thought-provoking post. So often, I see the negative labels. You bring out the positive, important labels, that that we need to remember. I love Beloved. Another one I hold onto is cherished…by God, my husband, my boys.

  2. Great post, Annie! You nailed the distinction.

    I try to avoid labels, but one that probably fits is ‘survivor’; there are those (some of whom like me) who would expand it to ‘ruthless survivor’. I suppose it may be true, because some of the things we endure are not pretty.

    My wife, by the way, would second ‘ruthless’, because she sees that I am that way with myself.

    #1 at FMF this week.

  3. I love this idea of truths as labels that can never be taken away from us. They are deeper than our life circumstances, which can change — they are eternal. I really appreciate your perspective here.

    Jeannie (I’m at #30 in FMF this time)

    1. It’s hard to remember those eternal truths sometimes, isn’t it? But I’m so thankful knowing that they are what define me. Thanks for stopping by!

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