When I began thinking about the next article I would write, the first thing that occurred to me was all the apathy I’ve been observing. I even thought of entitling this piece “A is for Apathy.” I realize there is also a great deal of anger which has caused both hatred and violence. These things make the news quite often because they provide the sensationalism that the news media clamors for each day. We are made aware of them almost daily. Apathy, on the other hand, is just as prevalent but not as newsworthy. It is something of which we stay mostly unaware .
According to my trusty, older hard copy dictionary, apathy is: 1. Lack of emotion. 2. Indifference; lack of interest. Basically, we’re talking about your common variety “I don’t care.” attitude. In today’s vernacular, you could say it’s often expressed with “Whatever…” or “It is what it is.” To me, it feels like a lack of hope, a feeling of powerlessness, and/or a sense of defeat.
It made me stop and think about how we’ve reached this point. I recognize that we live in chaotic times. Daily life sometimes feels unsafe and the future seems very uncertain, but this is not the first time humans have experienced this. Generations before us have experienced just as much or far more desperate, trying times than we are going through right now and somehow managed to stay hopeful. Why are these times any different and why are there so many who don’t seem to see the proverbial Sun behind the clouds?
To be honest with you, I think our natural optimism and enthusiasm has slowly been taken from us. Our attention has been directed to the new “normal.” What might that be? Among the many things I could list, at the top of my list is the amount of pharmaceuticals people are taking and the effects they create within each person taking them. People’s bodies are becoming chemical cocktails and their emotions are being suppressed. We have emotional/psychological zombies walking around thanks to modern medicine. This has created a portion of the population who no longer know how to care about Life. Everything is just too much effort. Why bother?
Before some of you jump all over me, I do recognize a couple of other things: 1. There are some for whom the drugs have helped in a very positive manner.; and 2. There are those who don’t take any prescription drugs and still don’t give a crap about their lives and still find anything to take too much effort. Here, however, I’m trying to call attention to those who are over-medicated and have been convinced that this is something that is now their new normal and that there’s nothing to be done about it.
Then there’s the fact that we constantly hear about how “those who have the gold make the rules.” I’m talking about the 1% vs. the 99% We’re being convinced that we have no power if we have no money. This is continually reinforced as the wealthy make sure that they receive more as more is taken from the rest of us. “See? You’re powerless.”
I thank the gods, by whatever name or names you may call yours, that some of us are beginning to wake up and both see and feel that we have a choice and a voice! Not everyone is an activist or a protester, but the very fact that we’re seeing this should catch our attention and make us realize we are NOT as powerless as we are being led to believe. It should show all of us that whether on a global, national, or personal scale, we do have the power to make a difference, to change our lives, and to part the clouds so that the proverbial Sun can shine on us once more.
I’ve observed so many people who say they would like to see this thing happen in their lives or experience that thing, but when an opportunity comes to move in that direction, it’s just too much effort. There are many things in Life that others can do for you or help you do, but the one thing that no one can do for you is make you care. Without feeling that intense desire for something and letting it motivate you to action in the direction of that desire, Life will remain just as it is and might possibly get worse.
The amount of indifference that now exists has created an atmosphere where shops and stores are closing; events and organizations are dying; and where isolation and loneliness are growing. Yet, people continue to say they would like to see these types of things exist, and more, but have no interest in showing up and/or supporting the very things they say they want.
It’s time to realize that there is only no hope if we believe there is no hope, We are only powerless if we choose to be powerless. We are only defeated if we make the choice to give up. So what is the answer? Well, I will certainly admit to not having all the answers. I’m just as human as the next person and have had my experience with those feelings of hopelessness and things just taking too much effort. What I have recognized over the years is that the answer lies within each of us. No pill, no person, and certainly nothing else outside of us has the power to change our lives the way we do simply by choosing to show up and be present in our own lives and that of the outside world.
Let me end this with a quote from the book The Quest of the Warrior Woman, by Christina Feldman that you (whether female or male) may find useful:
“Patience needs the companion of determination, receptivity needs courage, compassion requires focus, and single-mindedness needs humility. The warrior is not without fear, her heart may tremble at the prospect of bringing radical change in her life and her world, but intuitively she knows that fear is the mother of true courage…”