April 2, 2014

Who Cares?

Apathy must be routed out wherever it exists. Or not.

A widespread and insidious problem that humanity is currently experiencing is apathy. People throw their hands in the air and ask, "What can I do about it?" Many have fallen even farther to, "whatever" and "who cares?"

Albert Einstein, for one, cared deeply. He thought that it would be the opposite of caring, or apathy, that would eventually be humanities undoing.

"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."

Sophie Scholl was a brave, non-violent activist in Munich, Germany at the time of Hitler. After risking her life daily on the streets while handing out anti-Nazi leaflets, she had no problem calling out those who mutely stood by while their world was being destroyed around them.

"The real damage is done by those millions who want to 'survive'. The honest people who just want to be left in peace. Those who don't want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who don't like to make waves - or enemies."

Again, apathy, or a lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern, is the problem.

But there is a solution.

According to author Dan Millman, the answer is willpower. Tapping in to our life source and overcoming by sheer will alone.

We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for, as Millman points out.

"Willpower is the key. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt, or fear."

And after our will has been revived and our apathy diffused by that jolt of life? What when the zest has returned?

Activist Arundhati Roy has some good ideas of how we can direct our will to stop the current round of destruction from continuing.

"The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them."

We don't have much to lose, unlike Sophie Scholl who was executed for standing up to evil and being unafraid to point it out, scabs and all, to others. At this point we have a lot to gain by refusing to remain on the sidelines as passive, non-participatory blobs.

Our silence and inactivity is being taken for consent.

Do we really agree with the way things are going right now? Do enough of us care to stop the destruction of all that we love and cherish?

Can we rise above the collective apathy and change the world? Or shall we say, save the world?


  1. I haven't made a "comment" about this post, but it's stayed with me in my mind since you posted it. One the one hand, I feel like I've given up because no-one I hang round with on a regular basis seems interested, so I keep quiet. On the other hand, I feel more determined to keep on doing the little things that I'm doing because I *can't* give up. I heard on CBC radio this morning about the UN report on climate change, and then I felt depressed because Canada doesn't seem to be doing anything constructive about this.

    It's a roller coaster ride, that's for sure!

    1. Jess,

      It is indeed a potentially frustrating situation as not many citizens seem to be paying attention.

      "No problems here!" seems to be the mindset. They can afford high-consumption lifestyles financially, so don't stop to consider whether the planet can afford it environmentally.

      It is not a surprise since as you point out our own governments are often the worst offenders in climate denial, especially Canada. Then there are the corporations (like Koch Industries in the USA) which are spending hundreds of millions of dollars spreading misinformation in order to prevent the change to a greener, cleaner, kinder world. No one owns the energy of the sun, so no profit there.

      It is more important than ever that we don't give up now, because we are on the brink of massive changes in the right direction. We as individuals can do a lot, but we have more power when we feel that we are part of a supportive community. I continue to work on NBA specifically to provide such a community.

      We have to continue, and we have to organize. I think that history will be on our side, and if not, I will be happy to be proven wrong.


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