Monday, August 08, 2005

Apathy

It seems to me that people in general have developed quite
an apathetic attitude towards their fellow man. This attitude
even often borders on billigerance. Easily observed in global
issues, what I am focusing on more is the obersavtion on a
local scale. In what people say, how they act, look at others,
drive their cars, and so on, all point to the surprising conclusion
that there is a mentality that is uncaring towards others.

The real question is why do people not care and even furthur,
should they care? I believe that the latter question is more
easily answered and as such, I shall start there. Simply put,
humans have congregated into great communities out of an
instinctual longing for company. It has also been realized,
over the year by people, that more people can complete big
tasks easier and in a faster fashion. Big tasks such as
irrigation, walls for defence, and mass farming are beneficial
for everyone in the area. This need for others readily lends
support to the idea that caring for others is essential in
working with others, for who would work or live with an
asshole? Caring for others means that people will get along
and work together better for the benefit of the whole.

This being said, why has it occured that people are now
overwhelmingly uncaring? It seems as if I have come upon
a split in my discussion. There are two different worlds
in which caring can be exhibited, the professional and the
social. Professionally, it is quite easy to see why it pays
to be kind towards others. Socially however, is where my
original train of thought was headed.

There are now incredible numbers of people inhabiting this
planet at six billion plus. Most people talk to and meet
many strangers throughout a week's time. Why care about
someone you are never going to see again? Indeed, why even
care about people who live halfway across the world? People
do not seem to care because they fail to realize that we
all affect one another. And this affection is very important
given the fact that we inhabit the planet, such an increasingly
confining sphere.

This "bubble consciousness" is the root of apathy. People do not
care about what happens outside of their little bubble because
they do not believe that anything will affect them. It is only
when actions tend to become extreme that people will take notice.
However even such notice will not lead to caring as people are
unaware of the causes of such extremes. Is it perhaps easier
to hate and lash out than it is to accept and understand? This
is a thought with which I cannot be complacent.

to be continued maybe

4 comments :

  1. good post... thanks.

    Lila
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  3. well, I think that many people may ignore people or refrain from making an effort to interact with others or acknowledge their presence due to one or a combination of the following reasons:

    1. that is how they are treated by others on a day to day basis

    2. they don't see the point in it because they don't think it will benefit them (as you mentioned at some point)

    3. they are too rushed and don't feel like they have time (I hate this about society today. People run around avoiding eye contact with others and are too busy in their own little worlds.)

    4. people feel awkward or uncomfortable around strangers or people they rarely interact with

    5. (this is kind of like number 1) it is getting to the point where talking to people breaks some sort of understood social rules. people immediately begin to try to figure out why someone talked to them. They think there must be some sort of selfish motive.


    In my interpersonal comm. class last semester our teacher told us that virtually all of the people who were interviewed after they had gone grocery shopping claimed that they had initiated a casual conversation with the cashier when in fact it was almost always the cashier who started talking.

    Once I was at Piggly Wiggly (yes, that's a grocery store down here) with my youth minister who is a friendly guy, and he just started talking to the cashier and actually got her to open up some. As we were about to leave she said, "man, there's something different about you." and then she saw his shirt which was from a Christian retreat we had been on, and she said, "Oh, I see... you're a Christian. That's it." and she asked him to pray for her. That just shows you how abdormal it is for people to actually care enough to interact.

    So, I think people definately should care. If nothing else, it makes for some interesting situations.

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  4. %% Simply put,humans have congregated into great communities out of an instinctual longing for company.%%
    False. People congregate into communities for safety.
    They then establish structure in these communities to ensure their equal protection.

    %%Professionally, it is quite easy to see why it pays to be kind towards others.%%
    what the hell does this mean. are you saying it's good to be nice to ppl u do business with so that u can be successful.
    or can i look at this in the contradictory context of being mean to your competitors.

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