Our communities are our circles. Our neighbors generally have similar incomes, our co-workers are likely equally educated, and many of our friends probably vote along the same lines. By shear proximity, we often find ourselves isolated within self-created circles, grasping for an awareness of perspectives to juxtapose our own.
It’s this awareness that’s at the center of social change. It fuels and forms a knowledge that prevents us from idly standing by. It nudges us to be completely intolerant of social ills like income inequality, lacking healthcare, unequal pay and subjective rights. It feeds us one million tiny little visions of the world, reiterating our differences as well as our commonalities.
Awareness exudes a humility that makes our actions all the more powerful. And so if we hope to increase our own awareness, we must be readily willing to have intimate conversations, immerse ourselves in the experiences far from our own and consider the personal implications of institutionalized norms. By doing this, we amplify our collective pull and cement our drive to act on behalf of others.
To become more aware, truly demands a dedicated effort. It’s a commitment to step into communities outside our own by supporting their work, volunteering within their organizations and dining at their restaurants. It’s a commitment to push a dialogue that increases our awareness of those who have less, struggle more and for whom everyday is a harder fight. Whether it’s at political rallies, at the corner convenience store or on the playground at our kid’s school, we develop awareness when we engage with others on a personal level, each day cinching the gap between our perception and their reality. - Maureen Post
Photo Credit : Mae Elvis Kaufman