But, labels applied to people often miss the mark because â€“ in their abbreviated form - they miss the complexity that is the real person. Instead of information, they box in and categorize â€“ often based on one criteria, as if the person is simply a certain age, for example, and nothing else. Iâ€™m especially sensitive to those labels that follow words such as â€œallâ€ or â€œnone.â€ For example, â€œAll seniors suffer from decreased cognitive functioning.â€ -or- â€œNo adolescent these days cares about working for goals.â€
I've been on my soapbox about this before, but I believe older adults are diminished in the eyes of others (and maybe even by themselves) by the numerous labels that have been applied to them by others. I believe that individuals of any age vary in almost every aspect of their personality characteristics, behavioral functioning and abilities. I played tennis with a 92 year-old woman last week, and she hits a mean tennis ball.
What about you? Any thoughts on labels and terminology?