The dangers of apathy

Bayley Baker Contributor

Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion and interest. It’s a state of indifference. An apathetic individual has an absence of concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical and/or physical life and the world around them. Simply put, they don’t care.

In today’s media-saturated world, it’s easy to succumb to apathy – especially when it comes to politics. You get tired of hearing about it. You feel like you can’t make a difference so why should you care?

I get it. Apathy is easy. It’s comfortable. It doesn’t ask anything of you. It’s effortless. But it’s dangerous, too.

Not caring is what the people in power want you to do. If you ​decide to​ care, that concern turns into mobilization. It turns into action, and passion, and a rallying cry for others to join you. That’s how change is made, but the people who benefit from the way things are don’t want change, and by becoming apathetic, you’re giving those people exactly what they want.

You might think that you can’t make a difference individually and that’s why you don’t care. “Other people will save the planet, or fight for my rights, or call my representatives,” you say. But if ​everyone​ has this mindset, then no one is doing anything, so nothing gets done, and the cycle of nothingness continues.

In truth, saying you don’t care about politics is an inherently political stance. Not everyone has the luxury of not being deeply affected by politics in their daily lives.

Claiming you don’t care for politics is an act of privilege.

You don’t have to take on these challenges alone. It’s not your job to single-handedly correct all the injustices in the world. However, you can simply look at the issues that are right in front of you, here and now, and choose to act.

It may seem small and inconsequential, but picking up that piece of trash off the ground, or calling your representative, or signing that petition, whatever it may be, matters ​because​ you assign meaning to it.

Don’t get bogged down by the big picture – that’s how you get overwhelmed. Do what you can, and feel good knowing that you’re trying.

Edited by Adam White & Wesley Tabor, Brianna Smith, Jessica Galvin