Apathy: A Personal and Public Scourge

Feisty By Feisty, 16th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Philosophy>Personal Philosophy

Betterment of ourselves, our communities and our nations depends on the commitment to care, to change.

The Opposite of Love Is Apathy

"I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate -- it's apathy. It's not giving a damn." Leo Buscaglia

Think about it: What is it that prevents you from moving forward, from becoming the person you've imagine you can be?

What signals the changes in personal relationships from that of caring about another person's happiness and growth?

What allows another body of people, whether they be elected officials, committees at work, school or organization to make decisions with which you disagree but sit idle?

The answer to each of these questions is the same: apathy. Apathy is numbness, the inability, or refusal, to care.

Love and hate are emotions at opposite ends of the spectrum. Apathy is a lack of emotion, a lack of motivation. Love and hate spur us to action; apathy is inaction to the nth degree.

Photo credit: Mike Sansone CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr

Ignorance or Apathy?

"Is it ignorance or is it apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." Jimmy Buffett

Over the years I've found myself speaking for the Average Joe or Jill when others have spoken indignantly about the of action of us average citizens. I do understand what a full plate many people have, working just to be able to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. Young people are raising families, older people working toward retirement or even just being able to buy their medicine -- these folks have plenty to occupy their minds.

Increasingly, though, I think about the responsibility we have to one another as neighbors, as citizens, as inhabitants of the same world. Is it enough to assume that someone else will take up the gauntlet for us, or should we make our own voices heard?

Why Should We Care?

"The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment." Robert M. Hutchins

I was compelled to write this due to responses from friends and colleagues who were neither ignorant of the facts of a certain situation or in disagreement with my assessment of it. These educated, concerned people, though, discouraged any action on my part and predicted the doom of any corrective actions.

I wanted to say to them, "But if we stand together, we don't know what we might be able to accomplish." But I didn't say that then -- so I am saying it now, to you.

We should care whether our neighborhoods are safe, whether people become homeless through no fault of their own, whether innocent people are convicted of crimes -- the list is infinite. We should care because we are human beings, because there is an unwritten social contract where we look out for one another.

We should care, because if we don't, then who will?


Apathy, Government, Personal Responsibility, Public Opinion

Meet the author

author avatar Feisty
Retired nurse and social service worker who has found new avenues for expression of creativity and compassion. I'm an advocate of common sense, an open mind and lifelong learning.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
16th May 2014 (#)

much wisdom herein...thank you again...

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author avatar Feisty
16th May 2014 (#)

Perhaps we should start a mutual admiration society? : )

Thank you for reading and providing cherished feedback.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
17th May 2014 (#)

dear Feisty, when one writes well as you do and from the heart deserving you are of positive feedback and comments...

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author avatar Feisty
17th May 2014 (#)

That's how I feel when I read your articles...you are so well-spoken and vast in your knowledge.

Thank you kindly. : )

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author avatar Ptrikha
19th May 2014 (#)

Indeed, we ought to care, but perhaps, our bring up and family fears and pulls prevent us from doing so?

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author avatar Feisty
19th May 2014 (#)

I understand that daily life places great demands on time and energy. I do think, though, that if more people would take up at least one cause/issue close to their hearts, we could accomplish much together.

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
20th May 2014 (#)

Powerful message Feisty. I find much injustice but also appreciate the way our leaders have their hands tied due to the system. I have been speaking out against the grotesque injustice when the rich become richer at the cost of the poorest of the poor though some may think I am just being idealistic and this has happened right through our history. I also abhor the apathy of the successful who are becoming more selfish by the day. Also about our leaders losing focus by war mongering than fighting for peace by setting an example themselves - siva

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author avatar Phyl Campbell
23rd May 2014 (#)

Mutual admiration society... I like it. Apathy is both self- protective walls and just simple exhaustion from everything about which one is not apathetic. And it's very hard to convince people to give a damn if they don't see personal affect or can't visualize positive results. Both of which are sad, tho understandable. Great article.

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author avatar AjaySinghChauhan
26th Oct 2014 (#)

good post very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

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