From the Archives:

Public places provide prime viewing grounds for all walks of life. Today, I sit at the library. The perception is only nerds like me use the library, but, at least in small town America, it has become a place to cultivate both education and community (which I think is why I love coming here so much). If you sit, listen and watch long enough (don’t be a stalker though ok?), you will see a protective mother and her cubs, the unemployed searching for that long awaited job, the older gentleman on oxygen who comes to read the newspaper every morning, just to get out of the house.

But then you also see some people you might view as a bit different. Such as the gentleman who walked into the “quiet room”, where I am sitting, picked up a newspaper saying in an English accent, “downed flights and shootings everyday, what is the world coming to? And why should I give a shit? Why should any one man?” He glanced at the front page, huffed and threw down the paper.

At first I was a bit startled, trying not to stare at him, as he stalked out of the room, replaying what he had said in my mind. I realized I understood his frustration on some level. Everyday, at 1:30 I sit in a meeting discussing the news of the day; the shootings, the rapes, the wrecks, the floods, the tornados. Destruction. Pain. Chaos.

And my apathy reigns. What can I do about it? Nothing? Ok, let’s move on then.

Is that not the same mindset as the gentleman at the library? We are not the only two who feel this way either. Many of us have stopped watching the news, stopped researching the issues plaguing our country, even refused to vote, because of our apathy. What do we want in a president? Answers to OUR issues. We complain because we feel they are disconnected from “The People”, but how connected are WE to “The People.” Do we even see each other as part of the national community, or are we clutching to our individuality, praying those elected will concern themselves with our problem more than the concern of our neighbor?

Back to the question at hand though, why should any one man concern himself with the world’s scars? Because Jesus does. Loving God, includes loving one another, which is why we cannot isolate ourselves from the world. Isolation, apathy and chosen ignorance is the easy way out. I am guilty of it, that’s for sure. But, Jesus did not run from the issues of the world, he faced them with love and perseverance. He knew what the political law was and followed it, he knew God’s law and followed it. If you’ll remember Pilate said he found no fault in Jesus. God saw no fault in him, the fault lay with us, his creation who chose to walk away. His creation who now trades truth and love for apathy, a simpler way of living, and yet, so unfulfilling.

We should care because Jesus cares. And if we really believe the Gospel and understand it’s importance and significance in this world, we will reject apathy and begin caring about the issues impacting not only our own lives but of our neighbor as well. People surround us all day long, with their own rules, perceptions, hurts, and cares. We may be curious about who they are, but it is time for us to begin caring enough to ask how they are and how we can help. It is time we understand who “THE PEOPLE” are, not only of our nation but of the world.

What are some ways you have rejected apathy and loved those around you?

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About C

A creative, hardworking professional who sees not a dead end but a mountain of possibilities in each of her endeavors.

3 responses »

  1. Jon F. says:

    Individually, we are all guilty of being apathetic in some regard. Honestly, it is far too easy for us to be that way when it really shouldn’t be. As you point out with the meeting you go to at work, it seems like out of the majority of what gets brought out on TV is the stories of death, destruction, and so on. (See how easy apathy kicks in? I actually typed the previous sentence then erased it and thought no, because it’s just a shame that it is so easy to try and generalize all of the bad elements and move on.) Sadly in the environment in which you and I work, they are under the mindset that those type of stories are what “sells” the viewer into watching us. Don’t get me wrong, we do have happy and inspiring stories, but ‘usually’ they are at the end of a segment after we have told you X number of stories that make you cringe.

    I’ll step off that soapbox. You ask why should we care? The easy answer that we both already know and recognize is because God cares for everyone, and we should do so as well. You’ve already pointed toward that, and it is sad that far too easily we all have a hard time wrapping our minds about that. Why do we not have the same reaction when an earthquake hits Japan than when our nation is under attack and many innocent people lose their lives to terrorist attacks? Just because one takes place one mile away opposed to thousands of miles away, that doesn’t mean that the lives lost thousands of miles away didn’t have families that are grieving as well. Again, nothing we don’t already know, it is just a concept everybody is guilty of at some point even if they don’t mean to. My problem is that far too many are desensitized to it to begin with and don’t care at all.

    As Christians, we should approach each situation in the manner in which God leads us. We all stumble because we are an imperfect creation, but luckily for us God loves us despite our imperfections. If we try our best, we can all do better, and furthermore we have other believers who are hopefully there by our side to help us up when we fall down.

    We can’t solve the problems of the world. None of the politicians can, our neighbors can’t, no one being here on this Earth can do so. Only the one who saves us is capable of such an enormous task. We can try to help make it better after we leave than it was when we arrived, with God’s help.

    Admittedly, your final question poses difficulty to myself. In just trying to rack my brain and answer truthfully, it has taken me far longer than it should to be able to give you a fair response. Again, part of the reason why I am blessed to have someone such as yourself challenging me so. Aside from work, I have friends who are not what society labels as ‘normal’ in terms of having disabilities or being developmentally challenged. Sadly, all too often I get asked by those who you could consider apathetic wondering why do I take time from my schedule to spend time with others? The sad thing is most people will only do something out of the ordinary if they are getting rewarded for doing so in some regard. While I might not show it, when they ask that question about “why do you do that?”, it eats away at me inside. I spend time with them because if I can bring a little bit of happiness to them that and share the same good time with them, well then why not!? If I can help someone have a better day than when it started, I am often well satisfied. I’m not sure that is the best answer to the last question you posed, I might come back with another later on.

    It only takes one to create a change of some kind in the world around us. In what way do you see an opportunity for either of us to promote a change from the apathy that overwhelms us in the workplace into a meaningful operation that inspires others? I think praying about it constantly is a must, and hopefully through His guidance, we can have success in some regard.

    By the way, the older gentleman who came in reading the paper sounds a lot like my Grandpa back when he used to read the paper (minus the accent, but staying on par with the obscenities). It also sounds similar to an old guy I have seen a few times now lately at BAM who is always browsing magazines and talking to himself aloud while doing so.

  2. stlotto05 says:

    Ok, I had a new thought on this a couple minutes ago. Taking a current spin on things, even though we are devoting so much time prominently covering Hurricane Sandy coverage, becoming desensitized to the situation is far too easy. At least I’ve caught myself letting that be the case today in some sense.

    Now I’m not saying the story is losing its importance in my mind, but it seems too easy for me to think “Man that sucks for those people, but I’m here hundreds of miles away.” I’m disappointed that apathy sat in like that, and maybe it is because I’ve been around work so long where this coverage has been endless it seems. (Not that I should let that be an excuse)

    Just a short time ago when it made landfall, it hit me. Why was I brushing it off when I could do something? I may not be on the east coast, but the ones affected can use prayers because it will impact so many lives. Prayer might not seem like a lot to certain people, but it has the power to do more than any of us could imagine. It is easy for us to say we will pray for this person or that special cause, but do we really think about the significance of what we are proclaiming to do? Do we really have the same cry to God in the prayer we have to place certain people in our lives, the prayer following the loss of a close loved one, and the prayer we have for the un-churched people overseas? Hopefully we do, but I’ll admit, I don’t believe I am always successful here. I’m not trying to say we should make a hierarchy of prayer types, I just don’t know if I initially looked at the need of prayer for those on the east coast as I did something that took a more ‘personal’ priority in my life.

    Being selfless, not selfish, is tougher than it appears.

    Not certain all of this exactly comes full circle with the question you raise, but it did happen to trigger this take on the matter.

  3. […] 2. Why Should Any One Man Care?  […]

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