No One Wakes Up Woke

I was having a conversation with my closest friend the other day when I said, “No one wakes up woke.”

It slipped out as many of my catch phrases do- off of my tongue from the back of my mind. And I realized how much it made sense…(and also how much creative genius rests in the back of my mind…)

Being Woke, for those who do not know, could be summarized as coming to the understanding of the political and social structures that have been in place far before your conception, and understanding the ways that they effect those within and outside of your own demographic. Usually coming to this overwhelming absorption of negative and long-standing systems includes admitting one’s own ignorance…

Which is why there is a large resistance to this change on both a personal and interpersonal scale.

No one likes to admit that they’re wrong, or have been perpetuating violent mentalities and actions onto others without a second thought. But this kind of self-awareness is exactly what happens when you invest yourself in learning about the larger picture, and where you fit into it. (And more importantly, how your role in the larger picture affects others.)

There is certainly a negative push back to “woke” culture. Criticism comes widely from those who hold onto their personal versions of truth- those who are terrified of change, of difference. As someone with a large ego and adamant opposition to anyone who challenges my perceptions, I have definitely fallen into this category of the fearful, stagnant folx. And I have definitely felt my defenses automatically call my skillful insults to action when others have corrected me.

But thankfully I have met amazing people who have taken the time to teach me the reasons that they have corrected me. Who have seen through my dismissive jokes and angry rebuking as someone simply out of their comfort zone looking for cover.

One of these people was this very friend I was speaking to. She has taught me so much about how to understand and defend my own place in the larger picture, without throwing fists or curses. She has taught me that every experience I have had is valid, and not an overly-sensitized/sensationalized display of rebellion for the outside world to narrate for me. (She has also called me “poetry with a heavy fist,” and I am definitely holding that as a dear compliment to my heart.)

So anyone you look up to as the “woke” individual in your life- whether they are your mentor or a stranger on a large platform- has learned their mentalities from someone else. They have accepted criticism and taken time to investigate their own growth. They have speculated over the norms they were handed down from birth. They have tried and failed, possibly insulting and contributing to the very systems that oppress them most. But they have tried to grow, and still continue to do so.

No one wakes up woke and impeccably self-aware. No one pops out the womb unaffected by the family and environment they are born into. But if you choose to remain stagnant and set in your ways, you are missing out on so much more growth than you can imagine. Fighting the difference and changes that are coming from “Woke” culture and the coming generations is not doing you any favors.

I hope that I continue to grow and continue to be checked by individuals that have lived and learned more than I have. I hope that I never lose the curiosity that I have found in hearing others’ stories. I hope that I never stop trying to be the best version of myself. And I hope the same for you.

May you be well, May you be happy, May you be free from suffering.

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