I’m not sure which is state is worse: animosity, ignorance, or apathy. Instead of the good, the bad and the ugly, they’re like the bad, the awful, and the downright horrendous. And nothing demonstrates their abundant presence as an impending election does.
What is it that makes people think and act as they do?
I don’t have the answer to that; people continue to baffle me with their behavior and words.
What I do know, is that I am appalled at the persistent and severe animosity that people can display towards one another. Can we not see that our animosity solves nothing?
After 200+ years, have we not learned this simple lesson? What will it take for us, the citizens, the electorate, and the politicians to understand that effective and lasting solutions can only be reached through collaboration? Healthy debate is necessary and useful, nasty finger pointing and hostility is not.
But, as bad as animosity is, I believe ignorance is worse…
At least with animosity, people truly have strong feelings, inelastic convictions maybe, but conviction, words and action, nonetheless. With ignorance, there is a lack of knowledge, a lack of understanding, sometimes even an unwillingness to learn. At its worse ignorance is an unwillingness to examine our beliefs, and our behaviors, a refusal to ask questions and to seek answers. Ignorance is an awful state to exist in and it poses a deep and significant impediment to progress and resolution.
But, perhaps, at least in my mind, apathy is the worst of all…
With apathy, there is nothing. There is no anger and no conviction. There is no unwillingness to question and learn. There is simply detachment, no caring, no concern, no feeling, no thought given, no investment in the problems or solutions. I find that truly saddest of all, appalling really. That we can live in this world and not be concerned about the issues and the people around us is a horrendous affront to our humanity.
It’s often said that apathy is worse than evil, because at least evil thinks it’s right, it’s justified in its behavior. Ignorance doesn’t understand, doesn’t seek knowledge, but often truly doesn’t know any better.
Animosity can be tamed, with patience and compassion it can be re-directed. Ignorance can be rectified; it can be enlightened. Apathy is indifferent and disconnected. It does not care and is beyond reach.
When will we realize that humanity and progress require knowledge, understanding, conviction, compassion, commitment, and most of all empathy and involvement for and in the world around us?
If you feel as I do, please share this post with everyone you know. Awareness is always the first step toward progress.