The disease of apathy is rampant in our culture

Columnist Catherine Bryant
Photo courtesy Catherine Bryant

Apathy kills. Not suddenly or painfully, but it kills nonetheless. It slowly degrades quality of life, stagnates its entertainer and inhibits dreams.

No child envisions their dream life as boring or uninspiring. We are born with wild ambition. When we are young, there is no limit to our dreams and our interests.

Somehow, our culture has lost this sense of self-motivation and purpose. We are not motivated to change our own lives much less the predicaments of others. Our interests are often only surface deep and we can feign concern for an issue as long as it lasts in our social media feeds.

When we lose concern or interest in our daily activities, our satisfaction plummets. Things that are generally seen as interesting or important hold little value.

Among our peers, doing the absolute least to get by has become the norm rather than a desire to go above and beyond what is required of us. This attitude encourages a complacency that weaves its way into our work, our relationships and our community involvement.

When we are apathetic we operate at our lowest energy output. We play it safe rather than take risks, we avoid emotional investment rather than pain and we would rather stay in our room and waste time than take a chance of leaving our house to partake in something meaningful. How long do we want to sit on the bench?

When we are stagnant our dreams are pushed out of sight. Goals are attained through discipline and consistency. If we cannot motivate ourselves in the small actions our larger dreams become altogether unattainable.

Residing in a state of apathy for too long will lead directly to depression, but there are tangible solutions that can be implemented to pull oneself out of this state of disinterest and indifference to the world or self.

Intentional appreciation of people and things

Seek the good. This can come in the form of a conversation, a place, food, music, a nap and many other very tangible things that we experience on a day to day basis. It can be simple, it can be subtle, but this small step will help form a more positive narrative of daily life. If we can appreciate something, no matter how small, we have something to feel good about. More importantly, we start to feel; a step away from apathy.

Awareness and choice.

It is nearly impossible to fix a problem you do not know about. Many of us are apathetic in small ways. We are stressed, we are overwhelmed and apathy is our default when things become too much to handle. We must actively register where we are choosing to put in minimal effort. Only then can we live intentionally.

These steps are merely a few of the ways in which we can begin to abandon the disease of apathy that is rampant in our culture.