Half Man Half Noodle

Different pages, different books

You’re learning about the inequality and racial divide in the world, you’re passionate and driven. You know everything, you’ve read all the necessary books, followed all the leading Instagram pages and are committed to driving change. As you continue on this journey, be aware that not everyone is on the same page as you or even reading the same book.

Not everyone cares about what you care about and that’s ok. Actually most of the time no-one cares. Even your own friends probably think your passions are trash but that shouldn’t affect your “journey”. Friends and family care about “you the person” but not necessarily “you the passions.” Yes they may tell you your songs are great (and possibly mean it) but it’s not the same as Pablo from Peru stumbling upon the songs and falling in love. This doesn’t take away from what you’re doing but it also doesn’t make you better than anyone. I write this as a person who has been in this position. I would get frustrated that others didn’t share my musical taste but would also feel superior that it was esoteric. Do you think anyone cared that I listened to obscure French melodic death rap over Taylor Swift? Not in the slightest, nor did my stance do much to convert. No-one cared but it took me a long time to realise that that’s ok.

You shouldn’t force others to read the same book as you. When have you ever truly learned through forced? The idea of being “woke” gives people the false impression that they’re drivers of positive change. When we feel strongly about an issue and want others to feel the same, we shout louder! This comes from a place of compassion but maybe isn’t the best approach. It comes across as condescending and makes it more likely that others won’t listen to the message. Also consider that the book you’re preaching from mightn’t even be the right book for you. Question everything, especially yourself. We are the area where we are most complacent because we feel that we know ourselves best.

We’re all moving at different speeds, learning different things at different times. It’s as if we’re all on escalators at the London Underground. Thousands of strangers on these moving staircases that go on forever, moving in different directions, everyone standing in different places, thinking about different things. Some moving at the same speed whilst others run up the side, each person in their own little bubble, headphones blasting Taylor Swift unified only by the smell of the stale air we all stand in.

Be patient in your interactions and be considerate of others before you get frustrated everyone isn’t as “woke” as you.