It’s common knowledge that snakes shed their skin. What might be less widely known is that part of that skin includes clear scales over the snake’s eyes. Prior to shedding, fluid builds up between the skin about to be revealed and the skin waiting to be sloughed off. In the case of the clear eye scales, it makes them look milky and literally clouds the snake’s vision.
This feels like an apt metaphor right now around the learning and unlearning that is building momentum globally. We are collectively becoming more and more aware of our own privileges, biases, and where & how we can take positive action. And where & how those actions are not simply performative.
People are at different stages. Some have been at this work for a long time and are very clear-eyed. Some have recently shed their metaphorical skins and are adjusting to a new and clearer understanding of how the world works. And some still have the milky eyes and are fumbling around clumsily, trying to catch up with everyone else. (And yes, some haven’t consciously started on the path yet and have their eyes firmly shut. That’s a whole other conversation.)
It is uncomfortable to shed your skin. It is also necessary for growth.
p.s. Snakes shed their skins many, many times over a lifetime. The metaphor holds. There will be more milky eyes in the future for all of us, and that is part of the learning process. We’ll keep moving on, keep learning, keep waking up, keep shedding our skins. Onward.