WOKE & DEAF: We Have Open Minds & Closed Ears

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How come nobody is listening to what they need?

It seems we all have an opinion on every topic yet nobody looks to the sources they need in their own personal lives.

A few things:

  • I took a class on Race, Gender, and Media in Communications which is essentially about being diverse in the communication field and how to include everybody. Only minorities stayed in the class. You know, the people who don’t really need it.
  • I go to church and see people who are broke and struggling, living paycheck to paycheck, are unable to have a substantial savings, and live their whole lives around money. The preacher teaches on how to be prosperous and financially stable and they get upset and ask him to talk about something else.
  • I asked a young, black, military man who has a little black son and an infant black daughter about his political views and his response was that he didn’t believe that those things affected him so he didn’t pay attention to it.Ironically, with the next election, the current racial tensions, conflict over our educational systems, and peoples’ feelings toward military spending, him and his kids will probably be the most affected people in America.

So why do we do it? Why do we seemingly miss the very things that we need? We can find all the things we don’t need all day. We can talk about them from every angle you can fathom. I myself can probably name at least 60 dog breeds and tell you their history, their major diseases, and their best living environments. However, though I’m figuring it out, I can’t quite explain to you how credit works or how to play job politics correctly.

Here in the information age, why can’t we get what we need to grow and develop and create the environments we need to thrive in?

I think it’s just as simple as it’s too hard to stomach. We want all the sugar and refuse the medicine.

Woke And Deaf

This year it seems like society opened a can of bravery dated somewhere between 1960 and 1977. Everybody on my timelines seem to have “woke” up. Black people are trying to find their roots again, minorities in general are standing up for themselves, and everyone around the world is screaming THINK INCLUSIVE!

Like a plague of locusts, racism has hibernated just beneath the surface all these years. Now it’s reared its ugly head, uprooting all the progress we’ve worked so hard for right when it was ripe to harvest.

We’ve started to see the world for what it really is. With the advancement of technology, we’ve been afforded the opportunity to see the social injustices from many different angles and it’s something you can no longer bat an eye at; you’re being forced to take a side. Even the choice to bury your head in the sand is you taking a side. You’re choosing to be a part of the problem rather than a catalyst for the change.

Women have figured out that they still aren’t equal.

Americans are starting to realize maybe this capitalism thing isn’t the best approach for perpetuating a society where people care about each other, build with one another, and the government keeps their best interest in mind. Maybe, just maybe, it’s actually encouraging greed.

Yeah, we’re woke, rather, we’re waking up. But to what are we waking to and exactly how many levels of this dream do we have to go through before we actually reach reality?

The current path our society is on tells me that we won’t wake up to reality.

We can’t.

Not until we unclog our ears to what we really need to hear. We’re all stuck in our own personal matrices and the key to truly waking up is looking past your own personal world and taking a dose of that pink, bubblegum flavored, nasty medicine.

Things Happen to Other People That Don’t Happen To You

Let’s start with that one because I believe a lot of people don’t realize that. We all have different lives and different experiences and nobody will ever have the same experiences. People will also have experiences that you will never have. That doesn’t mean that their world doesn’t exist and acknowledging what they’ve gone through does not negate the fact that yours does.

I’ve never been poor (to my knowledge). I cannot begin to tell you what a poor person goes through. I can’t imagine what it’s like to work paycheck to paycheck because, even in my short working life, I’ve never had to deal with that. When I typically say I’m broke I mean that I have reached the limit that my budget will allow for before I have to dip into my savings account or not have extra money left in my checkings. I do not mean that I cannot spend more, just that I won’t.

At the same time, I know it’s not as simple as saying get a job, move to a better neighborhood, work hard and make something of yourself. Sure, that’s how my world works, but it’s not the same for someone else.

I may not have the ability to empathize but sympathy I can do. Compassion I can have. Love I can muster. I can look beyond my own glass and see that, while mine may indeed be full, it’s very possible that another’s isn’t.

And that is what we’ve lost more than anything. That is why we’re woke with deaf ears.

We don’t have hearts anymore. We can’t sympathize.

Thinking Deep Means Choosing to Be Broken

You’d be surprised how many people can easily talk about the parts of them that are broken. They can talk to you about how broken they are, what broke them, how it happened, post inspirational Facebook pictures about it, declare themselves a survivor and teach you how to make sure you don’t break people the way they’ve been broken.

You’d be surprised to find out how many of these people whose lives revolve around their scars don’t consider themselves broken but find themselves to be whole. If you start asking them anything that digs deep into the wound you’ll typically get one of two responses: either a “I’m fine” or a headbutt.

People are the same way with issues that require them to stretch themselves. In order to truly be “woke” and to open those ears you have to accept the fact that, in some way, you are wrong.

Your world view is wrong. What you like is wrong. Your upbringing may be wrong. Mindsets you developed because of the environment you sprouted in are wrong. Not completely, just to some extent.

You have to examine yourself and find out that you have stereotypes, you have bad habits, you have values and beliefs that you don’t follow. Something you do or don’t do is actually a part of the problem. Sometimes that thing is just thinking a little deeper.

It feels easy to live a surface life. You get to love all the good parts of you and ignore the bad. Choosing to look a little deeper means accepting that you aren’t perfect.

Choosing to see that someone is affected by racism means that not everyone in your world is as nice as you.

Choosing to see that someone can be poor by no fault of their own but because our society has the makings of a caste-like system means that you have to accept that yes, in some ways, you were born privileged.

Choosing to see that just because someone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth and chooses not to help you is not necessarily bad but their right means you have to accept that life isn’t fair and never will be.

Choosing to see that our government does sometimes lie to us and make monetary deals rather than keep the peoples’ interests in mind means you have to accept that our world isn’t as safe as we would like.

Thinking below the surface means taking a sip of that pink, bubblegum flavored, gooey medicine and choosing to accept that there are parts of you that are broken.

It means choosing to be alive rather than living in the matrix.

Acceptance is the first step to recovery.

So accept that our society is messed up. Accept that, in some ways, you or your ancestors or both of you have created the problem. Accept that it’s not any one race or culture’s fault. Accept that you have ways that need changing. Accept that your world isn’t all black or all white; it’s also got some Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, and lots more. Accept that the world will go on with or without you. Accept that someone is experiencing a life that you will never experience.

Accept all of that so you can hear what’s really being said around you. So you can feel what others feel. So you can see what really needs to change.

Open your ears as well as your minds.

Take your medicine.

“For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’
 — Matthew 13:15


Originally published at www.charmedarticles.com.