It’s a powerful tool when wielded with care and combined with intention. Being aware that you are a passive recipient of privilege, regardless of your stance or belief structure. Simply being made aware of the vast nebula of people, disciplines, materials, and intentions that make modern life possible can be a humbling experience.
Being made aware of where your cup of coffee originates, its rich and bloody history as an export good and a tool of imperialist structure. Knowing, irrevocably, that the manufacture of consumer goods, its legacy, and tenuous hold on the present culture are all products of intentions that conceivably lack awareness elsewhere in the system created to promulgate it.
Awareness can be empowering and dangerous. Throughout history, governments and other actors working to maintain their particular status quo have worked to suppress information and decimate awareness wherever possible. It has continued to fail, much to their chagrin.
Which brings me to my point: If awareness breeds dissatisfaction in the status quo, what do we do with it?
If history is any barometer, it is that with greater awareness comes a larger responsibility to be–well, responsible. Be aware of where your consumer goods and food are sourced, be vigilant against corruption (and avoid complicity wherever alternatives might be found), and perhaps most crucially cultivate awareness wherever possible.