Waking up is a process, not a flipped switch. It isn’t a long process, though; the difference between waking and being awake isn’t obvious from a distance. Being awake is as simple as keeping your eyes open and being aware of your surroundings.
Waking up from a lifetime of social conditioning is a very different thing, though. Imagine waking from a lifetime in a coma; you might appear fully awake within a few minutes, but your ‘woke’ state would be an illusion, hiding the fact that it would take years of concentrated training and hard, dedicated work to fully recover from all those years of entropy on your body. And your mind would be a sack of empty thoughts.
The liberal concept of being ‘woke’ is an admirable goal. But saying you are “woke” is an awful lot like coming out of a coma and trying to compete in the Olympics. It’s like starting a diet and expecting all the weight to just fall off in a week.
Being ‘woke’ isn’t a matter of volition; it doesn’t happen because you want it to. You can work toward it, and even one day of work is worth the effort. But one day of wokeness is about as useful as one day of clean living.
Maybe the term should be “waking” or “trying to wake up” or “interested in not being a dick all the time” … or maybe just something simple like the old-school “seeking enlightenment.”
Back in college a few years ago, somebody on a philosophy class message board said that finding the meaning of life was impossible because it was too big. My first thought, in my head and eventually into my word processer, was that it was the opposite of that. In my head, finding the meaning of life is hard because we expect it to be one big thing that we are supposed to find, like a pirate chest full of treasure. I think it’s more likely that the meaning of life comes in tiny doses, and we build it over time. Wisdom, perspective … these are traits that accumulate over time.
I am not trying to virtue-signal here; I’m not anything close to woke. I might as well be on a diet, battling a lifetime of habits and temptations that make dieting about as tedious and unpleasant as a root canal. It’s not fun to change a mind. And I have found that most people don’t do it, not because they aren’t smart (being smart ain’t got nothing to do with it) but because the process is about as tedious and unpleasant as a root canal.
So good luck with your bodies AND your brains. Making them better is hard work, though; you can’t just say you did it and be done. Maybe we should soften up all the woke rhetoric, and change the word to ‘waking.’ Thanks for reading.