I have to admit, I have always kept myself removed from anything “political.” This meant that I shied away from reading current events, articles about the global health crisis, or any news that was too grim. I guess this is what you call “Ignorance is Bliss.”
However, this is by no means the correct approach.
With all that has happened in current events with the Covid-19 outbreak, BLM Movement, Wildfires, and the 2020 Elections, I felt the pressing need to stay informed. While it is unfortunate that it took this much world chaos to get me here, I’m glad that it finally woke me up to my ignorance nonetheless.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do as a US citizen and as a female Asian-American. I grew up in a very sheltered, well-to-do neighborhood. Things like oppression, racial inequality, and injustices never crossed my mind because it never personally afflicted me. However, as I begin to take more agency over my actions, I have learned that I am not exempt from doing my part to fight for racial equality and injustice. Injustice means receiving something you don’t deserve, and absolutely nobody deserves to be singled out and demeaned due to the color of their skin.
If you are like me, I’d like to share some tips I learned in my own journey of enlightenment (or some would way “wokeness”). I advise you to start small. Always think about the most sustainable and scalable approach. This means integrating small habits that are not too committing so you can envision yourself doing that habit for the long term. We fall short as humans because we are desperately eager to “pull oneself up by the bootstraps,” which ultimately leads to failed expectations since the goals were too lofty.
Here are some steps I take towards more enlightenment:
1. Read the news on a daily basis. I know, I know, we think of news and we shudder at the thought of that barrage of text. However, there are many news sources nowadays that make reading news easily digestible. My personal favorite is the Morning Brew, a newsletter that sums up all current events in a succinct way. Not to mention there are elements of humor peppered throughout.
Being informed has completely shifted the way I carry myself in conversations, my personal life, and work. I feel a renewed sense of purpose. Now that I know what currently persists in the flurry of our modern day, there’s this sense of urgency for me to take action so that the current state of our country will not be repeated.
2. Small actions such as voting, taking part in the census, reading up on propositions place a lot of responsibility on you, as a voter. These decisions directly affect you and your communities. You would be remiss to not vote because it gives you direct say in the outcome of our nation, and ultimately of you as an individual.
To sum it up, ignorance is not bliss; having agency over your actions is.