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The 2020 pandemic brought so many new terms, labels, and an entire philosophy called "woke" to America. When my daughter asked me if I was woke, having never heard the term, I jokingly said, "I woke up this morning...does that count?" I was later shocked at the real meaning of the term and how it was being manifested in the lives of our clients. Suddenly, therapy was being redefined by clients who sought out therapists who were of like mind, belief, and experience.

Employers struggle with new concepts defining who is a coworker and who is a co-woker. Which you are is determined by your work ethic, what you believe, and the evidence for truth that you rely upon. Recently, businesses and even candy now have to meet some perception of an alternative reality that defines the concept of inclusion. Unfortunately, the more inclusive we try to be, the more exclusive we become. There are more barriers to inclusion as people attempt to be both an individual and defined by a label, title, or identity that includes you in a specific group. The problem with trying to be one of many is that there is no consistent standard as the requirements to belong are based on the prejudices of those in power. Let me give you an example of what I mean:

You can belong to the underprivileged, only if you vote a certain way.

You can belong to a group of saviors, only if you think a certain way.

You can belong to a group of victims, only if you act a certain way.

You can belong to a group of redeemers, only if you believe a certain way.

And the list goes on indefinitely. Every group has its own set of rules, expectations, and judgement flows fast and furious upon those who do not conform. Each group judges others outside and inside of the group. People who set the rules also can judge the group as a whole and turn weapons against them to control, manipulate, or destroy a group that displeases them. By focusing on what makes us different we create reasons to hate. In order to remain part of the group you seek to be included in, you must adhear to their way of thinking. This means you must give up independent thinking. Critical thinking that asks questions or requests clairification will result in exclusion, sensorship, or destruction, even to the point of murder. In order to belong, you must forfeit your personal identy and everything that makes you unique.

When we can see each other as a member of the human race, we can embrace our similarities that unite us a whole. But wait, we can't even agree we are all humans. To consider us all part of humanity would elimiate furies. I don't want to be considered a hater, so never mind what I said.


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