As humans, we have a remarkable capacity to love and be intrigued by places and phenomena. However, we also have a profound tendency to be indifferent towards any number of things.
While it is love that binds us together, it is our indifference to certain events and situations that can lead us down dangerous paths.
Indifference in your personal life can lead to a lack of engagement with the real world. Maybe, you are neglecting to acknowledge your significant other enough. Maybe, you are not bothered about where you and your friends should go for the day.
These may seem like trivial things that you don’t need to worry too much about, how you approach them says a lot about you. Much like your words reveal more than you realise, so do your actions.
By being indifferent you are signalling to everyone else that you are not bothered. That you are not willing to put the effort in. That you are coasting through life.
On a larger scale, societal indifference is an even greater problem. The indifference of a society is what makes catastrophes and injustices against certain races or ethnics more likely.
Think of the Nazis, the atrocities committed by Communist Russia, this was all possible because people turned a blind eye to what was happening in the name of self-preservation.
When we only care about ourselves and become indifferent to the needs and suffering of others, we lay the groundwork for disaster.
It’s easy to be indifferent, but it’s a path we should neglect to take. For the betterment of ourselves and society.
Engage With The World
Humans are social creatures. We are supposed to engage with one another. When we become indifferent this leads us to close ourselves off from the world.
There are a number of times this has happened to me. The most recent was when I was living in Barcelona. Towards the end of my time there, I became depressed and down about living in the city.
Whenever my friends came up with plans and suggested doing something, I wouldn’t be bothered about joining in. I was happy to just go along with whatever, or not go altogether.
At the time I didn’t think this was a problem, but looking back I realise it was. My friends would become annoyed because I was non-committal about what to do. By not expressing an opinion, and in my mind going with the flow, I was actually being apathetic about what to do.
After this, I eventually pulled myself from the brink and re-engaged with the world. Life is too short to coast through and to not actively participate in it would be a crime.
Indifference leads us to barely living at all. We are not open to the world, we are closed. We have tuned out when we should be turning in.
It was Helen Keller that said:
“Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all — the apathy of human beings.”
Empathy is a trait we should all have more of, but we neglect it more than most. To ignore rights and wrongs, to be indifferent to what is going on around you is to bury your head in the sand.
We are here for a short time and gone for a long time. To not actively engage with the world around us is a waste. Life is too short to not be fully invested in what is going on around us.
Indifference is what leads us to live a life that is not truly ours. By being indifferent to justices in the world, we are remaining passive when we should be active.
By closing our eyes to the wrongdoings of society we do not give us ourselves the possibility to change it. This is true in our personal lives and at a societal level.
We cannot hope to be better people and live in a better world if we do not actively engage in it. We should aim to be the version of ourselves that we can be and to do that it requires being present in the world not closed off.
The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius said that:
“Perfection of character is this: to live each day as if it were your last, without frenzy, without apathy, without pretence.”
The world is always growing and evolving and we should be too. To live without a care in the world for anything is no way to live. We must be engaged, present and above all, care about what goes in our lives.
We cannot be like this if we are indifferent. We only go through the motions when we are indifferent.
And that is no way to live