International Label Day

enso
The incredibly creative mind of Rarasaur came up with a new holiday called International Label Day:

“I’d love to see people wearing their subcultures proudly!  So the holiday is simple– just label yourself and wear it all day.  Use a piece of masking tape, or a Hello My Name Is sticker, or whatever– but let people know!  You are what you are, and you are glorious.”

November 21st is officially International Label Day. I know this is late notice, but it is not too late. Put on a label and see what happens. If you want, you can take a picture, post, and pingback to Rarasaur’s blog to join the party.

As for an explanation of my label, I am obviously not going to wear this around all day, but I did not have time to make a wearable label. The enso symbol is a zen brush painting that, among other things, “symbolizes a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body/spirit create.” For me, this symbol is a reminder of how I want to be. I want to savor every moment and free my mind to just create.

I would much rather wear this label than the name of an egotistical designer who feels the need to “brand” others with their surname. The enso also symbolizes nothingness or void. It reminds me to check my ego. Like I told Rarasaur, if you want a lesson in humility try to paint one of these circles. Grab your kid’s watercolor set and make a circle in one continuous stroke. If you really try to do this, you can imagine how much time, meditation, peace of mind, and dedication went into one of these paintings. These paintings definitely put my ego in check.

I just watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi last night. Jiro Ono definitely deserves to wear an enso label. He has dedicated 75 years of his life to becoming the best sushi chef he could be, and he still wishes/dreams to be better. He reminds me of how I need to maintain a beginner’s mind and work tirelessly at my craft of writing.

The difference between an enso label and an Abercrombie and Fitch painted across my chest can be summed up in a line from the film Seven Years in Tibet. When Brad Pitt’s character is showing a Tibetan woman a scrapbook of all his achievements, she comments, “There is another great difference between our civilization and yours.  You admire the man who pushes his way to the top in any walk of life, while we admire the man who abandons his ego.”As an American who was raised with Asian cultural values, I struggle with these two paths. Part of me wants to become a well-respected and popular (when will I overcome those junior high school insecurities?) writer/blogger, while another part of me wants to diminish my ego in order to attain everlasting happiness and peace of mind.

I guess the fact that I am trying to make a label with the enso symbol reflects that duality–can you imagine a zen monk walking around with designer enso clothing?

I know this is a lot more information then you needed to know about how I am celebrating this holiday, but that seems to be what I do–talk too much.

Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.

How would you label yourself and what does that say about your goals, aspirations, and/or contradictions? Please share.

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8 comments on “International Label Day

  1. Dieu says:

    I’ve heard great things about Jiro Dreams of Sushi. Having a beginner’s mind is what I try to achieve as well. There is always something new to learn and experience. That’s what makes life so exciting! Great post again, Kozo.

    • Kozo says:

      Dieu,
      I think you would really enjoy Jiro Dreams of Sushi. His culinary skills remind me of your poetry–simple, precise, yet profound. Thanks for the comment.

  2. NIKOtheOrb says:

    I have been wondering what your icon symbolized. A beginner’s mind: like learning and looking at everything as if it were the first time and not succumbing to preconceived notions or a kind of boredom where one thinks one has seen everything. A mistake that occurred in physics not too long ago when they thought there was nothing new to discover. I hope I never reach the point where I think there is nothing new to discover. Great photo, too. And that looks heavy. . . 😀

  3. eof737 says:

    I love the idea of it but hesitate to give myself one… 😉
    ¸.•*¨*•.♪♫♫♪Happy Thanksgiving weekend to you! .♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♥
    ˜”*°•.˜”*°•.˜”*°•.★★.•°*”˜.•°*”˜.•°*”˜”

  4. I beleive that trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth.

  5. […] Kozo’s Label Day 2012 Post about the Enso […]

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