As someone who has grown up and is born in this system and culture, the idea of rest is a novel concept to me. Rest is a deep movement of deprogramming our minds to discard this false belief of striving for constant perfectionism. Because capitalism has captured most of us, we are under the spell of the hustle-and-grind culture that compels society to the “unreachable finish line of wealth.” Rest is not encouraged or modeled in such a culture. Some of the key highlights I want to share here:
“Students are being trained to be workers who can follow orders, memorize facts, and be on time no mater what. Imagination and critical thinking skills are replaced with cookie-cutter learning and standardized testing"
“We have been socialized, manipulated, and indoctrinated by everything in culture to believe the lies of grind culture. In order for a capitalist system to thrive, our false beliefs in productivity and labor must remain"
“We center rest as a means for healing and liberation. We believe sleep deprivation is a racial and social justice issue"
“Rest is resistance because it is a counternarrative to the script of capitalism and white supremacy for all people"
“Unlike white feminism, womanism holds space for race, class, and gender and understands the family and community of Black woman are collaborators in the struggle for liberation”
“We can . . . begin to honor our bodies and trust our ability to learn new ways of being. We don’t have to be burned out, sleep-deprived, painfully exhausted, or disconnected from our selves and each other"
“I name academia as one of the main sites of grind culture. The headquarters of pushing through exhaustion, competition, expectations, and a lack of balance. people live in the library never once leaving, bringing sleeping bags to lay under tables and in between bookshelves. . ."
“The stress, anxiety, overloaded curriculum, and pressure we normalize in public schools and higher education are toxic and dangerous for everyone involved, but particularly toxic for young children and young adults who are still developing a sense of self . . . we seek external validation from a violent system void of love"
“. . . resting is a connection and a path back to our true nature. We are stripped down to who we really were before the terror of capitalism and white supremacy"
“The system has been lying and guiding us all blindly to urgent and unsustainable fantasies. We have replaced our inherent self-esteem with toxic productivity"
“You don’t have to always be creating, doing, and contributing to the world. Your birth grants you rest and leisure as well"
Naps are about a “deep journey toward decolonizing and returning to our natural state before the terror and the lies were given to us"
“We are going up against such violent systems in our attempt to disrupt and push back: white supremacy, capitalism, ableism, patriarchy, classism, anti-Blackness, homophobia, etc"
“Go to your beds. Go to your couches. Find a hammock. Go into the portal of naps. Go there often. You don’t have to wait on permission from the dominant culture"
Tricia Hersey suggests a 30-day sabbath, a quarantine and liberation from our grind culture, and focusing instead on rest. It means not only detoxing from technology and social media but announcing and making it clear as possible to everyone in your spheres that you will not be available during this time. Without a model from our culture for what it looks like to stop and pause, a sabbath is an opportunity for “intense imagination work and collaboration with Spirit” even if it’s for ten minutes, a weekend, or a month.” Whatever it is, this rest should be unique to us and only us.