Tuesday, 9 April 2013

and of apathy

Sometimes things appear that don't make any sense and are impressive all the same. I bought half a dozen farm fresh eggs. The guy behind the counter put my eggs in a container with a nest of shredded paper. When I opened the box, this one shred fell out on the bench. And I liked it. I liked the simplicity of those three words. I wondered what the first part of the quote was. I thought about the concept of apathy. Even just saying the word aloud has a sense of deflation about it. 

Looking at definitions of apathy, there seems to be a few ways of looking at it which range to fairly bland descriptions of a lack of emotion and passion through to apathy being up there with all that is evil, with one definition describing apathy and evil as two sides to the one coin. Evil wills it. Apathy allows it. Evil hates the innocent and the defenseless most of all. Apathy doesn't care as long as it is not personally inconvenienced. Seen in this light, apathy takes on a rather dark cloak. Other views have apathy as a consequence of helplessness at the hands of a greater power or in the face of a course of events over which we have no control. I leave the last word to American novelist, John Dos Passos, one of the Lost generation writers who came of age during World War I: 

Apathy is one of the characteristic responses of any living organism when it is subjected to stimuli too intense or too complicated to cope with. The cure for apathy is comprehension.

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