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NEW POTSC CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: LABELS LIE

By November 29, 2011 labels lie 40 Comments


Posted by Mike Foster:

Today we launch a new People of the Second Chance campaign called “Labels Lie: Don’t Accept Them. Don’t Use Them.”

The campaign’s focus is on being liberated from the prison of societies’ labels. We don’t have to live with the shame of what people have said about us. We don’t have to accept these statements as our true identity.

These are the first 3 photos from the “Portrait Series” with many more to come over the next 3 months.

When we judge, label, diminish and criticize each other, this becomes the fuel for shame and guilt to fester in our souls. A label says we are unworthy, flawed and unacceptable.

Sadly we live in a society driven by stereotyping, gossiping, labeling and blame…and it is destroying us. Words like ugly, stupid, adulterer, addict, illegal, failure, ex-con, slut, fag and other dehumanizing labels are thrown around with no regard for how they damage.

It is time to talk about shame and the toxic labels we believe about ourselves.

It is time to be liberated from the lies of labels and experience the powerful truth of who we really are…Loved…Worthy…Beautiful…Accepted.

SO HOW CAN YOU HELP US WITH THE LABELS LIE CAMPAIGN?
This campaign fails without you. If you believe in what our message is all about, then please help. Let your voice be heard and do something. Let’s breakthrough together!

1. Donate a Tweet to the Labels Lie Campaign. Help us reach 1 million people. It only takes 10 seconds to opt in. Click here.

2. Share the Portraits in your online networks. Blog it. Reblog on Tumblr. Share on Facebook. Pin it. Instagram. You will get people talking and commenting.

3. Do you lead a church or small group? Dedicate a worship service, gathering or small group time to highlight this topic. We did this at Moment Church last month and people are still talking about their personal breakthrough. Email us for details! Contact(at)POTSC.com

4. Make a public commitment to not use them or accept them. Start by tweeting this promise: “I believe Labels Lie. Don’t use them. Don’t accept them! #LabelsLie #potsc”

5. Do you have a magazine or print edition? Are you a reporter or writer? We can give you hi-res print files and a story! Email us. Contact(at)POTSC.com

STEVE’S STORY

LABELS LIE: BEHIND THE SCENES

40 Comments

  • Stunning. These images get me at my core. I can not sit on the sidelines. I am ALL in for helping demolish the lies of labels. 

  • Margaret says:

    Very
    powerful images.  We all need to think about how, when and
    why we use labels to categorize others, to castigate ourselves. We must all make a
    commitment to stop labeling.  The thought of a world without labels brings to mind an image of heaven.

  • Margaret says:

    Very
    powerful images.  We all need to think about how, when and
    why we use labels to categorize others, to castigate ourselves. We must all make a
    commitment to stop labeling.  The thought of a world without labels brings to mind an image of heaven.

  • This is awesome and touches down on something I have had
    to deal with my whole life.  Growing up
    overweight being labeled as lazy while doing more work than others around
    me.  Later in life out performing kids
    half my age while working in a very physical environment until working in that
    job caused a severe back injury and I was again labeled as lazy as I fought the
    disability system.  I will be proud to
    share this series wherever I can.

  • Amy Hunt says:

    I can’t help but ask “why?!” No one is any better than anyone else. Labels don’t promote hope, they define and limit. Grace, alone, grows hope. 

  • Amazing and liberating truth… Labels Lie…. There is so much freedom in those two words!

  • Bubba4me says:

    Really glad that a friend posted about your site.  Blessings

  • Mike Lehr says:

    Mike and POTSC, thank you for continuing the push the limits of our own self-comfort and status quo. These powerful images cause us to squirm, a ton of thoughts to go through our heads and pause while reconsidering our own labels and labeling system. It’s then that the labels start crashing down. So grateful for you all!

  • I am SO glad they shared us with you!! Would love to connect via Facebook and.or Twitter. http://www.facebook.com/peopleofthesecondchance  www.twitter.com/potsc

  • Wow, David. You have come through so much. I can totally relate to labels dealing with weight. Thank you for sharing and being POTSC!!

  • Joey Gruger says:

    Lovely, Hopeful, but most importantly Convicting. POTSC let’s live this out and crush lables!

  • the air was sucked out of my lungs as I read over this and looked at these images… Thank you for continuing to push us to a place of discomfort. I pray we can all reflect on these and realize the pain labels cause.

  • Pretty amazing stuff here. And I wrote a post about Labels last night that posted today before I even heard about this! God must be up to something. Keep up the great work! http://www.timschraeder.com/2011/11/29/labels/

  • Brigid says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. A single human being is a beautiful and complex phenomenon, unlike no other. There is what the eye can see, and so much more that the eye cannot. A human’s essence, a human’s choices, a human’s circumstances or history cannot be adequately captured within the confines of a word that seeks poorly to categorize, to predict, to assume, to set limits and boundaries around a spirit that was never meant to be contained. A label ignores the human being’s capacity to change and evolve. It ignores the complexity inherent within each of us. It ignores the unique story inside of each of us. It serves against celebration of diversity, and triumph over adversity. Screw labels.

  • Eva says:

    Hope you will post a picture of a person of wealth and write not uncaring or greedy

  • dustin says:

    The only thing labels do is take away from what we are and what we can do. The minute we use labels, we restrict ourselves to a false set of preconceived ideas that do nothing to help anyone. It’s unfortunate that our world operates so heavily in labels (which is to say, laziness) – hopefully campaigns like this will help minimize the damage. Great to see. 

  • Jason Wert says:

    I think these are the most powerful images that POTSC has released to this point. 

  • Eva says:

    Hope so Mike!!! lots of people I know  think that!

  • mohan37 says:

    I’m excited for the conversations these will generate!

  • Josharana says:

    I allowed a label to define me when I was in 6th, it started a 10 year battle with my sexual identity. Its important for us to realize that we should not allow labels of the world to define who we are. When we allow the label to lie to us, we allow the enemy to step in the way of God and work inside of us. Labels are liars, and we need to realize the importance of NOT accepting OR using these labels!

  • Josharana says:

    My apologies- 6 year battle… not ten. 

  • A Roselittle says:

    All I know is when people choose to trust God over man they tend to forget the lables a past has rendered the soul helpless to lables. P.o.t.s.c. Has a saving grace for me, and others. With jesus christ we are worthy of love.

  • Jim Morris sr. says:

    Great website, keep up the good work http://abolishsexoffenderregistry.blogspot.com
    Jim Morris Sr.

  • Beth says:

    So powerful! Just posted something along the same lines… You’re screaming my heart! 

  • Anonymous says:

    so great.  Captivating imagery.

  • I agree about the shame-guilt-and fear being used against us.  I wrote about it in my book among other things.

    http://outskirtspress.com/gendervalues_aproposalofmarriageinabottle

  • Elma says:

    this does harm forever !!  how does one really forget ?  or forgive ?

  • Kevin says:

    Is this campaign just directed at labels that are used in a negative way or at all labels in general that may not have negative connotations (parent, extrovert/introvert, teacher, sports fan, etc.? How are ‘labels’ being defined?

  • DidgeryDo says:

    I agree with this to an extent, however, this almost seems like a war against adjectives. Some which are clearly more unfair then others, while some seem to just be accurate descriptions that cooincide with someone’s actions. Now in the case of racial slurs or homophobic ones I am totally against it.

    All of the others in this campiagn, though, I feel have their place. A consequence of having strong standards and morals ( not necessarily religous) is judgement, and simply put, some fall on one side of the judgement based on their actions and some on the other. In my opinion there are people you could rightfully call a good mother and those you could rightfully call a terrible mother. What is the best way to avoid being called a terrible mother? Be a good mother. I’ve seen plenty of people called that and in my experience it was because their selfishness resulted in their needs always coming in front of the kids and negligence resulted. These people had the abillity to be a good mother and understood what it meant to be a good mother, however, they chose a more selfish path. Does this label “lie.” No. In that case the label is completely accurate.

    The best way to get people to not call you a junkie is to get off drugs. If you don’t want to be called a terrible mother try harder to be a good mother.

    In the case of racial slurs and homophobic ones you are dealing with things people did not choose in the first place so it isn’t a case of morality there and I agree that those slurs are bad. In the case of sexual orientation I find the component of choice and nurture along with nature to be debatable, but as a rule I still think that name calling for gay people is not cool.  I think racial slurs are the worst by far because there is absoultely no component of choice involved there.

    In the case of all the others I feel like this campaign is wrong. It acts as if the real problem is that people are judged. My opinion is that the root cause is that someone selfishly became a junkie or a bad mother or a convict in the first place and the judgement is a natural consequence of their actions. I acknowledge that there are situations where the labels are applied unfairly, but as a whole I think a strong society is one where there is a strong consensus on right and wrong. I don’t think that morality should be predicated on god’s existence either like relgious people suggest because god’s existence is uncertain and that alone lends uncertainty to the morals.

    My question for the creators of the campaign is, wouldn’t you say you have labels directed at those who disagree with you ( ie people that fall outseide of YOUR morality). Wouldn’t you be quick to call someone out for being bigoted, racist, homophobic etc…?

    Can labels lie? Perhaps in some cases but to do away with them entirely is to do away with right and wrong which is a bit ironic since this campaign very strongly implies a sense of right and wrong.

  • DidgeryDo says:

    I agree with this to an extent, however, this almost seems like a war against adjectives. Some which are clearly more unfair then others, while some seem to just be accurate descriptions that cooincide with someone’s actions. Now in the case of racial slurs or homophobic ones I am totally against it.

    All of the others in this campiagn, though, I feel have their place. A consequence of having strong standards and morals ( not necessarily religous) is judgement, and simply put, some fall on one side of the judgement based on their actions and some on the other. In my opinion there are people you could rightfully call a good mother and those you could rightfully call a terrible mother. What is the best way to avoid being called a terrible mother? Be a good mother. I’ve seen plenty of people called that and in my experience it was because their selfishness resulted in their needs always coming in front of the kids and negligence resulted. These people had the abillity to be a good mother and understood what it meant to be a good mother, however, they chose a more selfish path. Does this label “lie.” No. In that case the label is completely accurate.

    The best way to get people to not call you a junkie is to get off drugs. If you don’t want to be called a terrible mother try harder to be a good mother.

    In the case of racial slurs and homophobic ones you are dealing with things people did not choose in the first place so it isn’t a case of morality there and I agree that those slurs are bad. In the case of sexual orientation I find the component of choice and nurture along with nature to be debatable, but as a rule I still think that name calling for gay people is not cool.  I think racial slurs are the worst by far because there is absoultely no component of choice involved there.

    In the case of all the others I feel like this campaign is wrong. It acts as if the real problem is that people are judged. My opinion is that the root cause is that someone selfishly became a junkie or a bad mother or a convict in the first place and the judgement is a natural consequence of their actions. I acknowledge that there are situations where the labels are applied unfairly, but as a whole I think a strong society is one where there is a strong consensus on right and wrong. I don’t think that morality should be predicated on god’s existence either like relgious people suggest because god’s existence is uncertain and that alone lends uncertainty to the morals.

    My question for the creators of the campaign is, wouldn’t you say you have labels directed at those who disagree with you ( ie people that fall outseide of YOUR morality). Wouldn’t you be quick to call someone out for being bigoted, racist, homophobic etc…?

    Can labels lie? Perhaps in some cases but to do away with them entirely is to do away with right and wrong which is a bit ironic since this campaign very strongly implies a sense of right and wrong.

  • DidgeryDo says:

    Why was my comment deleted? My response was actually pretty reasonable.

  • DidgeryDo says:

    Nevermind, I just misunderstood that the newest comments were not being shown first. Sorry for the double post : P

  • DidgeryDo says:

    How about a sad picture of Don Imus that says “You are an ignorant, bigoted racist”

  • Blair3x says:

    Your words speak to my heart as do your images.  I am just as guilty of using the labels.  If not spoken, often thought.  Thank you for making me squirm in shame.  I pray God can use this site to raise our awareness of how one single word can change a person’s life.

  • all for one says:

    Couldnt say it much better the only reason we label people if we do is because we feel so bad about ourselves  This hits me very seriouly because my own daughter who i love so dearly and feel is a free spirit has done this to me..to the point of trying to incriminate me She spoke to me of ” facts”  in a high and mightly tone .her facts.. I was astounded that she had turned out with this kind of attitude..I didnt teach her these things .. . But people afraid to practice anything who are so harsh in their judgement of themselves sit on the fence and critisize….  the passiveness and glutoness conceit of the judge…of just watching and critisizing  Never looking in because that would be too deep for anyone who is shallow  Just another syndrom that leads to labelling  These are people whos very families were killed and mamed and left homeless from war  .. who suffered as well and they sit on the fence and judge 
    people who allow their families to do this to people are the people whos ideas are too big for love….They put up with it..and they do not make a stand for it.. I have suffered the torment of those who label until they WIN..in one way or another trying to exert power>>>IS there much difference between that and war? I wonder sometimes if theres any biblical truth about the end of the world????? Simply because people are really still practising the same stuff and still getting the same results  A boring life filled with the expectations of others and do not seem to care what the world holds in the future..everyone is one of ‘ Gods children That makes us One doesnt it?? No difference  I think it would be good to over throw the garbage in the press and fill the space with what really matters and what really is going to help make a difference  .. We are a forgotten society sometimes  We forget that we are people and that is what were here for…I was molested as a child The world labelled me …my parents labelled me..my molester labelled me..first and formeost,.. So how does a person hurt from something of that nature and of that magnitude of power as a child become better when labelled  Even keeping secrets when someone is hurt in order to please others is putting a label on others..You cant have faith if you dont know that youre of spirit.. and if you think youre only of flesh because you are labelled by something OTHEr than spirituality  you will never be freee from the trap.. The only way I could become free of the labels and the way I viewed myself was to make a choice that I had had enough of it all and that it was damaging to my child  because she was around it for years…
    war was the ultimate judgemetn call.. If we all didnt show up for war there would be no war… the first step of a war is to take on the idea that arent the slightest a part of an equation of a label..

  • Joshua Blow says:

    There is so much beauty and love that we as individuals and cultures could give and show if only we could put aside our biased and cruel mockeries of one another… I think Shinedown hit it perfect with their lyrics:
     
    “What a shame, what a shame,
    To judge a life that you can’t change
    The choir sings, the church bells ring
    So, won’t you give this man his wings?
    What a shame to have to beg you to
    See we’re not all the same
    What a shame”

    We still fight over the same things, seemingly never realizing that in the long run it comes with no good outcomes.

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