What if the word “woke” meant something different to each person speaking, writing, or otherwise hearing it? What if this word is used for so many different things right now is actually creating confusion?
What if “cancel culture,” was another excuse to not be self-accountable, self-aware, and ultimately check personal bias? What if this term, itself, is increasing division within our world? What if this language is triggering in a way it was never intended to be, yet others know very well the power it has and uses it for that very reason?
What if the language we engage with is more harmful than impactful, but we do it because it feels good when others are with us saying it? What if this is a clear example of cognitive dissonance? AND what if we witnessed ourselves a bit more to recognize we are shutting out and down people who genuinely are showing up to help?
What if the entire purpose of all that is going on was to keep us so incredibly divided and confused, the idea of unity, healing, collaboration, or problem-solving never even had a chance to enter into conversation? What if we sat with that for 60 seconds (fully) before even allowing ourselves to have any kind of reaction?
This is not a space to question the oppression, discrimination, and injustices, rather spread our wings and take a birds-eye view into how we are showing up in this world? Is our language helpful?
Are you angry? Are you exhausted? Are you perpetually feeling like the world is deeply unjust? Are you showing up with a perspective others are stupid if they do not say the exact same thing as you? Perhaps we have some room to get curious and double-check our assumptions are actually correct? We are ultimately more alike than different, yet these hashtags seem to be creating the deepest division I have ever witnessed. This is absolutely not to say I disagree with the intent – that I have interpreted as bringing awareness and possibility for reform, justice, and equality – rather, I feel the opposite when reading and engaging with the conversation, simply because of “who” I am automatically assumed to be a certain way.
It is almost as if we have forgotten how to communicate effectively. Rather, we throw a hashtag up and watch the unraveling of hatred being spewed at one another based on each person’s experience and interpretation of what is written on a screen, without context or conversation. Refusal to engage in meaningful conversation is evidence of entitlement and justification for the division, not solution-driven.
Our language is important. Why are we unaccountable to this? What if we clarified, before assuming?