Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Not a Christmas Post: Thoughts on Apathy

So there are only seven days till Christmas and what have I got for you? A post about how nobody in the world cares about anything ever. If there’s a more seasonally appropriate topic I don’t know what it is.

Lately I’ve been thinking about apathy.

Definition of apathy

  1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.

2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.
Apathy and Her Ring and Her Razor by Kira Leigh
I won’t pretend to be well read on the subject and I’m certainly not a scholar, therapist or expert. I just like to read and think and theorise and that’s what I’m doing here.

Apathy seems to be a growing concern in Western society particularly in the generation known as Y (of which I am a part). An apathetic attitude can be caused by a number of things including inundation of negative stimuli or a sense of helplessness. Both these things, I believe, affect the world today. Never have we had so much access to information and it cannot be denied that the majority of the news is made up of devastating, violent, and horrific events. (No wonder the rest is tabloid entertainment, we need the reprieve.) With so much war, domestic violence, animal cruelty, destruction of nature, hate, rage, etc., etc. being broadcast 24/7 it’s only natural that we feel unequipped to help. And if we can’t help, if we can’t change the situation than isn’t all that negativity too much to cope with, wouldn’t it be better to just shut it out.

I’m beginning to think apathy has become our go to tool for self-preservation in an overwhelmingly damaged world. I hope one day soon we can bring ourselves to care again, or better yet believe that we can affect change. Maybe I’ll start by listening to the sad stories people want to tell me and turning on the news instead of flicking to repeats of the Simpsons.

Do you believe apathy is a problem? How can one person make a difference?

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