Recently I saw a YouTube clip by the great Prince Ea, titled 'I am not black; & you are not white' https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=q0qD2K2RWkc
It got me thinking - in my life I have been many labels, but the one thing I know for certain is - I will do all that I can to not be defined by one.
A label is something society puts on us - to trick us to believing that we should be something or someone that everyone wants us to be, when the truth is you are the only person who defines you & can make you become the person you want to become.
In my life I have been labelled many things - black, white, sportsman, smart, dumb, ugly, attractive, tall, short, fat, skinny etc - but the truth is; I am only those things if I choose to believe them - in fact I am all of those things if I choose to be them.
I am somebody who CHOOSES to be a little left of centre, out there, challenging... Why? Because I like to challenge people's perceptions!! I like to break the mould in being completely different to what people expects me to be - why people expect me to be that certain way is because society places an expectation of who we are, what we should be & why we should be!!
Examples; I was a school boy Rugby League player, who got up at my school assembly and belted out a piano accoustic, love song ballad by Joshua Kadison - in front of 1500 students at a catholic male high school. I was teased & ridiculed (behind me back of course) for being a Nancy boy singer - until I ran out and captained the school Rugby League team, scored a few tries & kicked a bag full of goals - wait, a Nancy boy singer isn't supposed to do that..
Well who says???
I have always been someone who wanted to break the mould and change people's opinions & perceptions of what is supposed to be the norm.
I wasn't the most aggressive Rugby League player when I played in the NRL, which led people to believe I wouldn't make it as a boxer... Again a perception of what a boxer should be or look like without actually knowing the individual - I came out, won a bunch of fights including 2 WBF World title belts. Changed a few perceptions...
my favorite is - I have Aboriginal heritage, so when I tell people on the phone - there is a perception of; what I should be, how I should look, talk, act & behave..
Again I like to blow that perception away and lead people to not have a perception of who, what & why we should be - these perceptions are nothing but LABELS.
In attending corporate settings, & in everyday life we are often asked - 'so what do you do'??
My name is Joe and I am - Joe!!
If we are referring to society's labels, I am many things, I am an Aboriginal man, father, fiancé, friend, sports person, recovering alcoholic/drug addict, mentor, author, activist, truth talker, university student, lover of lollies, mental health & suicide advocate, left handed, musician, singer, runner, personal trainer, life coach, charity ambassador, fashion designer, cake maker, manic depressive Bi Polar, Holden driving fisherman who has suicidal tendancies daily, former NRL playing professional boxer, who loves watching ballet - nice to meet you...
Imagine we introduced ourselves as everything society wanted us to be???
Above all of that, I am one thing - I am me; Joe Williams
so often we look at colour of skin, selection of interest, sexuality etc etc ect - to define who we should be, because that's how people want us to be...
How about just being you, the very person you dream of being - because at the end of the day, the only person who can help you achieve those things, those thoughts, those goals - is you!!
I challenge you this, be that person YOU who want to be - shed the label & start living the way you want to live, why??? Because YOU are in control of your own destiny, not society - when you are buried, you are the only person in that box; DO YOU, BE YOU, NOW!!!
I AM NOT A LABEL, I AM ME; JOE