November 10, 2015

Reject Apathy

Edited by the "Committee of Five" Thomas Jefferson's quote made it through the rough draft to the final Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable right; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

While I believe the "pursuit of happiness" is nice, I wonder that our unalienable rights didn't include the "pursuit of justice".

There is such an incredible lack of justice in the United States (not to mention the world). 

"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." Einstein was onto something big with that statement. Does apathy run rampant in the world or are there too many of us who are just not willing to risk our precious necks, as well as, our life, liberty and happiness to make a stand?

William Osler stated, "By far the most dangerous foe we have to fight is apathy - indifferent from whatever cause, not from a lack of knowledge, but from carelessness, from absorption in other pursuits, from a contempt bred of self satisfaction."

"Carelessness and absorption in other pursuits" runs rampant today.  April 14 & 15, 2014 young students were kidnapped in Nigeria, their school burned to the ground. As of today there are 219 teenage and young girls still missing. Instead of running the Boko Haram atrocity, Yahoo website headlines listed:
"Justin Beiber and Selena Gomez officially back on?"
"Lindsay Lohan parties it up..."
"Robert Downey, Jr. Now On Twitter."

Eventually, down the page, the kidnapping was mentioned. After lividly chewing my lips for 20 minutes, I wrote a scathing letter to the news editor at yahoo, complaining (of course, I guess it's the toxic part of me).

The editor's response to me was that they post what people want. More visitors to their pages click on celebrity news than the real stuff of life.

This weekend, I discovered a magazine about culture and intentional living. It's covers typically display singers or bands with a Christian bent to their music. The newest issue had a photograph of one of the young victims of Boko Haram.  The editor wrote a very honest letter to the readers about the expectations of sales of that particular issue. The article was called DO STUFF BECAUSE IT MATTERS.

The author, Cameron Strang, states that the magazine occasionally surveys it online subscribers and readers. The readers continuously confirm that they want articles that relate the "issues of life and human dignity." YET, normal articles regarding relationships or pop culture type subjects will be read 150,000 times and shared 5000+ times. When a social justice article is presented in the exact style, (headline style, font, layout) it will only be read about 1200 times and shared "a few dozen times".

In spite of the knowledge that this issue will be read less, purchased less, the magazine stands behind it's mission: "...engage in the world around them and live a life that matters."

Are you a person who engages in the world? Do you step up? Do you suffer from Bystander Affect?
Do you care more who Justin Beiber is dating or how Lynday Lohan dresses for her most recent court date or do you really want to know what is going on in the world and how you can help?


  1. I've always been quite politically engaged, especially when younger. However, it's important to recognize the limitations of what can be accomplished by individuals. We must "think globally and act locally" like the old slogan says. Change what we can in ourselves, our families, our communities and our countries. But we also need to maintain a balance and enjoy a few of the frothier things in life. So I don't want to hear ONE WORD about my obsession with Tom Hiddleston, LOL!

  2. True confession, I might click on Bradley Cooper links....but eventually would go back to world news! I do agree, act locally and change does begin with self.

  3. I have to admit... I don't even own a television for over 3 years. I spend my life trying to build a bubbled microcosm for me and those I love. I used to be obsessed with politics when it still mattered in my country. Everything is rudiculed now more than ever, we start to resemble a third world country!

    1. Microcosm's are a good example of how life should be lived. Being a good example of living is important.

  4. I think we live in a world that says, "Let someone else do it."
    But if you think that way, you must realize that you, in the eyes of others, are the "someone else."
    So, do something even if it's just speaking up, sharing an opinions, saying SOMETHING.

    But, I can also take a moment to enjoy the antics of those wacky celebrities.

    1. We do, for the most part, have the "not my circus, not my monkeys" mindset. Though I might not be out with a picket sign or rescuing people from burning buildings, I do try to speak out. Say something, Do something is important, but, like you, there are a few wackies I am amused by but those wackos do not include Justin Beiber, Lindsay Lohan or the Kardashians. I just can't do it!

  5. I do keep up to date with the news and I do care very much about what's going on. I volunteer my time but I wish I was doing more. It's very easy to become apathetic when your little circle is just fine.

  6. Martha, Thank you for being involved. We humans have a way of making a groove that we fall into and it takes great effort to climb out of. Apathy is one of those grooves.

  7. Ironically, as I'm reading this it's the day after the attacks on Paris by ISIS. I wonder how long we're going to sit around and let this keep happening. It's got to be stopped.


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