Over-Categorization is for the Birds



You’ve seen the signs: Women’s Parking Only. The biggest complaint is it’s discriminatory. And yes, we get the point. But we might miss this one: over-categorization – taking it way too far – which often distracts from much more important information. In this case, the laws intended to protect people from harm need to be enforced. Creating special parking to control crime doesn’t work. It’s the equivalent of putting a band-aid on a broken leg. And along with the distraction over-categorizing leads to, we have another source – over-generalization.


We aren’t trees – we can move.

Sure. Some can afford to call a moving van, pack it all up and truck off to Happy Land just like that! Takes money, though. But what does this have to do with categories?



The Third World … an Imaginary Category



We all have the same right to live where we choose, but we don’t get to pick where we’re born. And chances are very good we don’t get to decide if the powers-that-be contribute to war or other grossly discriminatory action – and put innocent people in harm’s way. Some have a great need to move, but can’t without a lot of help.


But what would help the most? The money and effort poured into militarism would go a long, long way to repair, restore, and otherwise make sustainable, habitable and arable, areas of the planet devastated by war – and it’s fall-out – in the first place. People wouldn’t be forced to move nearly so often – maybe not at all. But the calls to end war do nothing. Those who won’t consider and end to war are too numerous.  Education is still lacking. We have to look else where to help with useful change, for now.


War fall-out reaches far and wide from the original targets. As people who do find a way to move, along with those who choose to immigrate, spread out around the globe, more over-categorization shows up in the wake.








… and so on …

Are you asking why this last list is over-categorizing?

humans - no categories


It’s just another bunch of labels – pre-judged pigeon-holes to stuff folks into. Time to turn it around.


One People Living on One World

Discriminating against one discriminates against all – UN Tolerance Day Learning to identify – and quit – discriminating, is what’s needed. And forgetting about categories is something we all can do to get rid of discrimination faster. Our rights are all the same. It doesn’t matter who or where we are, whether we’re coming, going, or staying put. We need to support each other, not divide up. Let go of the previously decided ideas – let more possibilities in. It’s a big world, a huge neighborhood, and an incredible amount of human potential.

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