Why You Should Stop Putting People in a Box

by | Jul 30, 2015 | Woman

I read a news story today that completely wrecked me. That’s not entirely true, it was in fact the accompanying YouTube clip that turned me into a blubbering mess.

It was a story on Donald Gould and his beautiful gift of music, you can read the article and watch the clip here:

Other than the beautiful music, what struck me was the wording of this article, in particular the headline: Homeless Man Donald Gould Amazes locals with beautiful piano performance.

Oh how we love to categorize!

I get it. Headlines are meant to grab, they’re meant to pique your interest, and pique it did. But leaving behind the context of media, isn’t this exactly what we do in ‘everyday’ life?

‘She’s a single mom …’
‘He’s a drug addict …’
‘They’re alcoholics …’
‘He’s been in jail …’
‘She’s an adulteress …’
‘He’s got cancer …’
‘She’s bulimic …’

We define by scandal.
We define by difficulty.
We take the lowest point of a person’s life and if not indefinitely, at least for a time, we define them by this life stage.

Quick disclaimer: I know that my clustering of these labels may cause offense, it’s not intended to. I myself have been a single mum, this certainly was not my lowest point or even a low point. For me it was the polar opposite—the ignition of redemption! It was, however, still a label people used to define me at that time. The above labels were chosen simply for example purposes only, and in no way am I trying to link or compare any of the labels to each other. A gifted or eloquent writer would be able to paint a picture for their reader without the need for clunky disclaimers. I am neither, so clunky it is.

I don’t think for a even a second that there’s any malice behind this kind of labeling for the majority of us who have caught ourselves (myself included) doing this. I think it’s just how we relate, how we memorize. We search our memory cache and we fit people comfortably into their allotted space.

There’s a few problems with this though, the glaringly obvious one being that people change!

We all have a story. We all have a complex series of events, chosen or otherwise, that have led us the place we find ourselves in today. But unless you drop dead right upon this sentence, and it is my sincere hope and prayer that you do not, your story is incomplete. There is much still unwritten!

A pregnant woman does not forever remain pregnant, nor is she described as such. She hopefully goes on to birth more of her story, to add to it, to introduce a new character, a character who will evolve, entwine, enrich, expand and add complexity to the initial story, a story that was never really initial, but instead merely the flow-on from another’s story, and theirs before it, and so on.

This is how we must view our fellow journey persons; as incomplete stories, great and intricate works in progress.
After all, isn’t this how we would have others view us?

I am greater than my lowest lows.
I am more than the collective sum of my mistakes.
I am more than my highest highs.

It takes divine grace to see ourselves for what we can and will be. It takes that same grace to see others the same way.

Given that I have a not-so-secret penchant for clunky, here’s my rewrite of the above headline:

“Donald Gould amazes community with his musical gift, proves there’s always more than meets the eye!”

What headlines will you rewrite today?

Bek Curtis is an Australian-based blogger.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

This Coach Can Help You Destroy Your Addiction to Pornography

Let’s talk about a subject most people want to avoid. Let’s talk about pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, statistics show that 28,258 users are watching pornography every second, and 20% of mobile online searches are for porn. Among Christians, 20% of youth...

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

The Real Truth About the Marriage of Politics and Faith

As I look back, I realize that God has given me a career path with some rather unique experiences. I have built bridges at the intersection of faith and government my whole life, and I have learned that serving people through a role in government can be just as...

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

Joyce Meyer: Winning the Battle Against Satan in Your Mind

If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real and it’s important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ. Now,...

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

It’s Time to Rebuild Love and Unity in the Church—Part 2

Note: As we move towards Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement, Grant Berry, a Messianic believer, speaks about the deeper repentance needed in the Messianic part of the family. As you have read part one of this article during the month of Av and are now reading part two in the...

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

Will Many of the Elect Really Be Deceived by the Antichrist?

The most sobering and troubling statement in the Olivet Discourse is where Jesus says, “For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matt. 24:24). This statement cries out for an...


Prophetic Lessons in the Hurricane-Force Storms of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qe34pxhddd4 With Hurricane Ian slamming Florida, it's a time to reflect on the storms of life. As I was preparing for the hurricane, I documented some thoughts about...
Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

Why God Cares About Your Physical Health

God doesn’t care if I am fat. He wants me to enjoy my life. He wants me to live, love and be happy. Food makes me happy so I’m just doing what He wants me to do. That was just an excuse and at its core it is untrue. God really doesn’t care about our outward...

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

An Unborn Baby’s Heart Is Beating—Stop Denying It

Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams turned heads last week in Atlanta when she defiantly announced during a political event that an unborn baby doesn’t have a heartbeat at six weeks gestation. “There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks,” said...

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

Prophecy: We Are in a Season of Blessings

We are kingdom citizens, and not of this world. We don’t abide by this world’s economy and the natural things that happen. Repeatedly, over the last four weeks, I’ve been hearing not to look at the circumstances of this world. We are not of this world. Get your eyes...

Pin It on Pinterest