In my opinion
Don’t be apathetic about apathy
This past week as I was getting ready one morning I was listening to Mumford and Sons’ first album, “Sigh No More.” They are great musicians who write fantastic music.
As happens occasionally while listening to music, one of the lyrics grabbed me and found its way into my mind, heart, and soul. “I Gave You All” includes the line, “If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I could have won.” That word “apathy” struck me and has lain heavy on me ever since.
There are all kinds of -pathys. Empathy is great. One who is empathetic has the ability to understand another person’s situation, relate to, and come alongside of him or her in a time of need. Sympathy can also be good, as it is the ability to understand someone, but sometimes it lacks that personal involvement that empathy usually has. But apathy is altogether different and is no good.
C.S. Lewis is remembered as saying that the root of all evil is pride; pride being the belief that we are greater than God. That may have been true during Lewis’s day, but today I would dare to say that the root of all evil is apathy — indifference to the current situations in our lives, communities, nation, and the world.
Apathy is what causes us to stop investing our lives in our spouses and children. Apathy is what causes us to give up on our kids and leave them to be raised by their peers. Apathy is what keeps us from running for city council or mayor. Apathy is what keeps us from voting for those who do run.
Apathy is what causes us to voice our frustrations on Facebook instead of communicating directly with the party with whom we are frustrated. Apathy is what causes us to keep our concerns to ourselves and not share them with the people who we are concerned about.
Apathy embraces, “It is what it is,” (a phrase I have found myself saying too often as of late) and denies, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Apathy creeps into our lives in the form of doubt and then takes root in the form of active indifference.
Marion, we must root out apathy from our marriages, from our families, from our homes, from our organizations, from our schools, from our businesses, from our churches, from our friendships, from our very lives. And we must replace it with the belief that who we are and what we do is important, valuable, and necessary. With this new year, let us renew our dedication to be actively involved in the many facets of our lives in this community.