Wednesday, August 3, 2011

On Awakening

There are some powerful lessons in this presentation:

There is a place for sleep.  Sleep offers the body opportunity to rest, recuperate, and heal. However at a certain point, the time comes when one must awaken. For various reasons, many people find comfort in sleep and seek to remain there through various forms of self-medicating actions.  Methods of self-medication include religion, alcohol, drugs, hypersexuality, and other actions done in excess.  The impact of these anesthetizing activities leave people feeling empty and worthless if they are not doing them. 

That people are concerned with awakening indicates that they recognize that they have been asleep.  In the process of awakening, the presenter - Ayi Kwei Armah - recommends the following: 
  1. We must first end our addiction
  2. When free of addiction, we can cultivate healing values that will help us to remake ourselves, our families, our communities, the world...the universe.  In cultivating healing values, we must recognize and analyze the values meant to harm us.
  3. And we identify the regenerative values - those that help us to resurrect and modernize the best of what history has bequeathed us, while learning from the mistakes - and put them at the center of our conversations, behaviors and institutions. 
Awakening is tough at times, particularly when surrounded by those who find comfort in a perpetual state of sleepy numbness. It is even tougher when the heart recognizes that wakefulness requires action. Yet as those with like hearts and minds moving in the same direction choose to walk and work together, awakening becomes not only the desired process of living, but the only possible option.

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