To Be Woke Is A Good Thing

There is a lot of controversy these days on the internet in regards to the usage of the term “woke”. Those on the right side of politics tend to use it is a term of dismissal for any social issue which they find disruptive to their world view. Those on the left side of politics seem to take offense at any of their ideas being labeled such, seemingly appalled at the notion that anything they are proposing is some how out of the ordinary and should require some kind of label to mark it as such. Apparently nobody likes the term, least of all the people who are, well, woke.

This is a mistake by both sides. Regardless of how immersed you are in your belief system or how surrounded you are by like minded individuals with a progressive vision of the future, you need to be aware that the reality you expect everyone else to just “get” is radically different than that of anything else that has come before it. Furthermore, your refusal to acknowledge the inevitability of an incoming new wave of morality, your smug solidification of your position into ways that have always worked so will always continue to work, is only going to harm you more going into the future. Woke is a term that should be embraced by everyone because it is something everyone in the current age is experiencing, even if our reactions to it are different.

So what is “woke” anyways? In a previous article about The Wheel of Time I mentioned some of the things that are associated with it in relation to that show: multi racial casting, equal representation of those who identify as LGBT+, and women being as powerful or more powerful than men. While these are some manifestations of what woke looks like, it is not the entirety of what woke is or can be. Woke is so much bigger than that.

To be woke is to have a new awareness of who we are in relation to each other, ourselves, and the planet as a whole. It is an understanding that our identities go deeper than the gender of the bodies we were born into. The way we have relationships to each other is evolving. Everyone in the world and how we interact is connected regardless of national allegiance, religious practices, or the color of our skin. It is not have achieved a higher state of consciousness and demand that everyone else meet us there.

How this happened is a subject which could be elaborated upon in great detail if I were so inclined. It has a lot to do with the global culture that has formed around billions of people who previously had limited access to each other suddenly having instantaneous connection via the world wide web. A new awareness of ourselves has been created due to a population that constantly looking in the mirror. Whether we are talking about actual mirrors or the mirror of popular media this remains true. Knowledge which previously was only available to select elite few can now be disseminated with ease by any who seek to obtain it.

All of the information is in the hands of the people. Everyone is experiencing this regardless of which side of the political sphere you are on. That this is all happening became more apparent than ever when the global pandemic started. Suddenly something was happening that every person who is a part of the collective had to respond to. The quarantines forced us to weaponize our wokeness and takes sides on issues in the battlefield of the internet.

The phenomenon of being woke should be embraced because it is an indication that we are close to being able to move forward from problems that have plagued civilizations for thousands of years. Even JP Sears and his mantra of “awake but not woke” that can be found on the t shirts in his merch store is an indication that it is not the whether woke is legitimate or not being the problem. It is how we are going to use that wokeness. It must be employed in the correct way to ensure that it remains available. There is where the left and the right strongly differ in their approaches on how to move forward in their adaptations to global trends.

Revolutions are dangerous things. They must be carried through carefully. If they fail, it often means that something far worse than what we have will take over.

I am trying hard to make a point here that I hope can be understood by all sorts of people. I apologize if it is too vague or if my overuse of the word “woke” has gotten tiring. It is such an overused blanket term. My attempt to insert it into the broader context of what is happening globally may only be partially successful. Please bear with me as I continue to add to this discourse over the winter season.

Merry Christmas everyone.



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Shawn Mason

Shawn Mason

front desk clerk at the Ridgeline Hotel in Gardiner, Montana next to the northern entrance of Yellowstone National Park.