This article is an invitation to move from wokeness to wholeness and to go beyond surface-level changes. As we seek to create a more just and equitable society, the concept of “wokeness” has become increasingly prevalent in our public discourse. While this term can mean different things to different people, it generally refers to an awareness of social justice issues, such as racism, sexism, and homophobia, and a commitment to challenging these forms of oppression.
However, the limitations of wokeness have become increasingly apparent, and we must move beyond it towards a more comprehensive worldview that includes self-awareness and introspection.
The Limitations of Wokeness
Wokeness has undoubtedly increased empathy for people from different groups, especially marginalized ones. It has allowed us to see the world from their perspective and recognize the inequalities they face. This newfound awareness has led to a much-needed change in attitudes and actions towards marginalized groups, but it has also led to a sense of self-righteousness and a tendency to overlook one’s own shortcomings.
As Ayishat Akanbi, a British writer and cultural commentator, points out, wokeness can be limited by its focus on surface-level changes rather than deep-rooted transformation. In her own words: “Wokeness has robbed many people of compassion and replaced it with moral superiority.” Wokeness is a steppingstone, not a destination. Wokeness can be a gateway to more comprehensive personal and societal growth, but it is not the end goal.
“Wokeness has robbed many people of compassion and replaced it with moral superiority.” -Ayishat Akanbi
One of the limitations of wokeness is its tendency towards cancel culture. While holding individuals accountable for their actions is important, the practice of canceling people for their views or statements can have a chilling effect on free speech and intellectual diversity. It is crucial that we approach these issues with nuance and critical thinking, and that we seek to build bridges of understanding and empathy, rather than shutting down dialogue.
Responsible Speech and Accountability
However, freedom of speech does not remove the importance of responsible speech, especially from people in positions of authority. Words have power, and those in positions of power and influence have a responsibility to use their words wisely and with consideration for the impact they may have on marginalized communities.
Unfortunately, many cultural and political leaders have leveraged unfair and exaggerated criticism of wokeness to undermine the very real social justice issues that it seeks to address. While it is important to engage in critical dialogue and debate, it is crucial that we approach these issues with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to building a more just and equitable society for all.
To achieve true equity and social justice, we must look within ourselves and acknowledge our own biases and privileges. This introspection can be uncomfortable and even painful, but it is essential for true transformation. It requires us to challenge our assumptions and confront the uncomfortable truths about ourselves and our society.
From Wokeness to Wholeness: Embracing Compassion and Forgiveness
To move beyond wokeness towards wholeness, we must also embrace compassion and forgiveness. We must acknowledge that everyone has biases and prejudices, and we must be willing to forgive ourselves and others for past mistakes. This does not mean that we ignore or excuse harmful behavior, but it does mean that we recognize the humanity in all of us and strive to do better.
As I look back on my personal blog, wokedaddy.com, I realize that while many of my blog posts focused on compassion and self reflections, a big emphasis has been placed on external factors, such as politics and current events. While these issues are important, they can also distract us from the work that needs to be done within ourselves.
To move beyond wokeness towards wholeness, we must embrace compassion and forgiveness. We must acknowledge that everyone has biases and prejudices, and we must be willing to forgive ourselves and others for past mistakes. This does not mean that we ignore or excuse harmful behavior, but it does mean that we recognize the humanity in all of us and strive to do better.
As I close out my personal blog, I want to thank my readers for their support and engagement. I encourage you to continue to seek out knowledge and growth, both within yourself and in the world around you. Let us move beyond wokeness towards wholeness and embrace the transformative power of self-awareness and compassion.