The fundamental thing about our lived experience is that it shapes us, cooks us. Anything we do, feel, see, hear, smell; the sprinkle of love here, the dash of abuse there, we absorb everything as it penetrates our subconscious and calcifies into who we eventually are and the choices we take for granted. Once we start to recognize that, we see how every small, seemingly ineffective breath is actually an incremental but silent lesson; the way a child’s language skill unconsciously evolves as they move about the world. Now you see both the beauty and danger of it all for yourself and those around you; and the things you took for granted, you start to question. At such a point, panic will overtake you as the real weight of unreconciled and unanswered questions flood your consciousness. Let it. You need it to stay awake, discerning and yes, selective.
Have you ever wondered?
Where is our history? The one before colonization? Where has it been hidden or destroyed and why? What would it tell me that I need to know?
Who decides what history is valid? What is their incentive?
If colonialists saw us as animals, why have we embraced their religions and ways? Why do we accept their gods as savior and ours demonic? Who benefits from that narrative?
How come our evil spirits are so powerful, yet we cannot make them do our bidding overseas? How come they cannot influence elections or even protest results?
Is theft only theft when it’s done with melanin? Why are our artifacts still abroad as educational, profitable tools? Isn’t repatriation/restitution a more important lesson?
How come we accept that childbirth is a miracle, yet the workplace punishes women for getting pregnant?
Why do men get equal parenting titles, even when they do a minuscule part of child bearing, rearing and financing?
Why are men and women not paid the same for the same job?
Why are presidents mostly men? Is it really possible that for centuries only a handful of women were competent? Or have they been systematically excluded?
Why do we pay nannies and cooks, yet expect wives/mothers to do the same work for free?
How come the narrative for female empowerment focuses on her potential economic productivity and not the fact that she is simply a human being?
Why can’t we treat every single person like a human being that deserves a minimum standard of human dignity? If the deserving are only those who work hard, then does that mean those who simply can’t do the same are undeserving?
Why are baby girls’ ears are pierced before they can even crawl, but any other body piercings and tattoos bad?
Who decided men are the head? Why?
What is the acceptable number of times a woman needs to be beaten down before she can leave an abusive marriage?
If we know fossil fuels are bad for the climate, why aren’t we doing more about it?
If we destroy this earth, where do we have left?
Why do we treat women’s periods like they are not as natural as needing to use the bathroom?
When only certain voices/images/narratives etc are loudest/mainstream, whose voices are we missing? Why? At what cost?
What were your answers? Dig far enough and the answers consistently and without doubt lead you back to the triumvirate of racist, capitalist, patriarchal incentives (kyriarchy). There are so many more irreconcilable standards, but many don’t ask critical questions because our “culture” expects unflinching respect/loyalty as an absolute standard. Others start to question, and just shrug it off when the answers seem too out of reach or inconvenient. Most are too caught up in the noisy web of media, consumption and drudgery to care. (No judgement. This is a huge part of what life is about these days). However, we are all inevitably absorbing the biases in our environment. It’s up to you to be critical, ask questions, seek truths, and control to the best of your ability, what you expose yourself to. If you’re not trying, you’re not panicking. And if you’re not panicking, you’re either in the 1% with power, or you’re already well done.