But...It's Easier to Stay In Bed - Wokeness
The call to action and to be "woke" is stronger now than ever in my lifetime, but I'll be honest...It's much easier to stay asleep. Draped in the security of your comforter and duvet. Curtains drawn, fan swirling on high overhead (because who sleeps without the fan on!?). Waking up is hard. Intimidating and revealing...about yourself and things around you. "Facing the day" is daring, brave some would say. Everyone wants to be brave, but bravery makes you self aware; and facing the newly revealed flaws in the mirror is always a tough task. Being bombarded day in and day out with negativity is exhausting and defeating. But the side effects are far less important than the consequences of silence and ignorance. But to stay woke, first you must BE woke. So that's where we (read "I") will start.
I'm the first to admit, that when it comes to awareness of my cultural climate, I'm SO GUILTY of burrying my head under the pillow. It's not something I'm proud of. It's not like I don't WANT to be involved but once you begin, it turns into a rabbit hole that consumes your thoughts, actions and the way you view the world. Feeling vulnerable and emotional about events happening in the world around me goes against everything we're taught about letting the world in. But it's for the best, and the only way we can hope to influence change.
Wokeness begins not in the middle of a protest or during a sit-in on your college campus: it begins quietly at your kitchen table, then grows louder in your neighborhood, among your groups of friends. You have to turn inward, begin to educate yourself on what's around you and form your opinions. Of course it helps to look to others for guidance and leadership, but remember that your voice is ultimately your own. Challenge the social parameters and strive to unpack exactly what pillars our society are built upon.
We must remember the importance of resilience when being woke. Opening yourself up and passionately pursuing the greater good can effect your attitude, your mindset, your mood and your cynicism. Bitterness can turn quickly into hatefulness. And with that mentality, we have lost. It becomes less about what is right, and more about being right...whether your truth is actually true at all. When you become unwilling to listen, your passion becomes misdirected, misguided. And your gospel of inclusion and awareness, transitions into a selfish crusade.
So my action item is to simply stay aware. Stay awake. Be cognizant of the hurting and ever evolving world while taking care of myself in the process. I am going to strive to stay conscious and in tune with the happenings of not only my culture, but those around me. A dangerous person knows a little bit about everything. An influential person, knows a lot about the things that matter. Whether we volunteer or not, we are all called to be humanitarians in our own way. And to do so, we must first get out of bed.
Listen Loudly, Love Loudly, Live Loudly.