There is so much indifference in the world, throughout history and still very much today. From war, the holocaust, slavery, women’s rights, lgbt issues, animals rights for just a few quick examples.
Indifference is the lack of care, concern of interest; it can be considered racism and an inability to understand. It’s big and loud it’s here for everyone to see it has been as far back as the beginning of history but it is also silent, it is silently destroying the world, empathy, love and diversity. The world is blind to what is really happening. The lack of compassion, concern and care for the lives and well-being for people viewed as different (outside of what majority feel is normal) because we don’t all feel the same, there is nothing we can do to stop it.
Let’s get into a few examples here, start with the big one first, the Holocaust. Jewish men woman and children faced starvation, brutal punishments, slavery, separation, torture and eventually death. The Jewish community was not the only victims but they were the majority, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah’s witnesses, the disabled and anyone who resisted the Nazis.
It’s clear that indifference is to blame for this, but we can’t just blame Hitler and we can’t blame the entire nation. 11 million lives were lost, there was countries, leaders and individual everyday people who did what little or big they could to help them escape and move to safer places, no it was not just one man it was a huge group of people who thought different was bad and never looked at an individual human being, who can take a child by the hand and lead them to their death? Indifference is dangerous. “More dangerous than anger is indifference, indifference is not the beginning it is the end and it always the friend to the enemy.” -Elie Wiesel-
I am not going to get to far into other examples because that would turn this into a book but I’ll take a quick look.
Slavery, because the color of one’s skin, there was segregation, separation and slavery, the were outcast and labeled as unimportant, low-class citizen who did not deserve any rights but they should do the hard and easy labor such as cooking or cleaning because yet again different is bad. Makes no sense but I am a caring individual.
Women’s rights, women were not considered low-class or unimportant but during that time period, no one cared about their voice or opinion we can’t know anything about politics or work, but please cook me dinner I’m hungry from being out all day supporting you.
Wars, usually the cause of a war is different religious beliefs, you think this and I think this so let’s fight about it, kill a bunch of people. Because I guess whoever has the best weapons and the most soldiers are the ones correct in their belief, although soldiers are HUGE diverse group of people who don’t all share the same beliefs, religious or not, but they are trained to be indifferent to other lifestyles for the sake of whichever country they are fighting for.
LGBT rights, is a big one and is personal to me, but all these play in together the lack of concern for the happiness of people, for the color of their skin, religious beliefs, and who they fall in love with because it’s unnatural to love someone of the same-sex and we deserve whatever we get as long as it’s bad, Like a gay couple being attacked on the streets because they were holding hands in public, but that’s ok because obviously anyone who is different can’t feel pain so walk away and believe that they deserved it. Right now we have the big transgender bathroom issue going on, something that no one put any thought into until they were told to, transgender people have been using the restroom of the sex they choose to identify for a long time, so why throw a fit about it now? Let’s not take moment to think about the fact that real predators are in the bathrooms with us and can be completely unnoticed, sex offenders, abusive people and kidnappers go in unnoticed, or without concern because they look normal, or have been to prison and reformed? I worked at the biggest prison in my state, a lot of inmates learn how to be crafty to reach whatever goal they are smart people.
Indifference is not just these big events that will be remembered and taught for a long time, it also occurs in everyday life with everyone. That homeless man on the street you saw and walked right past, when the neighbors alarm goes off and you shut the window, that kid you see all the time always filthy and crying with new bruises on their body and a parent with too tight of a grip, the car broke down that you drove past? I was with my sister and her kids one summer, her youngest still a new-born when her car broke down on the side of the highway, and it was a hot day. We took the kids out of the car and moved them slight ways of the road, I remember watching all the cars drive past like we wasn’t there, like there was not a tiny car seat and a couple of kids 5 and 3 stuck out in this heat, we had help on the way but I sat there the whole time thinking has no one really stopped? Does no one care about these kids stuck here? What’s the cops excuse for driving right past? No one cared, no concern for those kids.
Indifference is all around us and it is killing empathy. Now I am not going to wrap this up here of course I have to look at the positive side of indifference. Yes that does exist and should be more well-known than the other but people like to shine all the light on the bad, because in some twisted way it makes people feel better and it’s definitely every man for himself.
It’s no secret that I am a lesbian, stereotypical one at that with the short hair and the more “guy” approach to the way I dress. I have heard a lot of hateful words aimed towards me for this, by strangers and family. I no longer go into public bathrooms not because of the transgender issue I have not been in one way before that all started it’s because I don’t want the drama I don’t want the words and the whispers or someone running to a manager and me having to prove that I am in fact a girl before they kick me out or call the cops, I don’t care to deal with any of that. The hateful words and actions from others I have dealt with I have before and I was a teenager been angered by them but never have I argued with a person about it, never have I gave into it or responded, my usual response to people who find it their place to try to down me walk away, I don’t care about their personal feelings of my life anyone’s judgment of my character is not important to me. Someone judging your lifestyle? your choices? when you know that you are a good loving person remain indifferent to their opinion, nothing will aggravate a person more. You DON’T have to defend you to anyone especially people who are unimportant and people who chose to down you like that are not the type of people you need in your life anyway. Diversity is a beautiful thing, more people should embrace it because can you imagine a world where everyone is the same?
Another positive use of indifference is to be indifferent to outcome and by this I mean don’t stress about the big things happening. Have a job interview coming up? Don’t care. A big test? Whatever. Dream date with dream person? It don’t matter or maybe a big game? Who cares I don’t. Remain indifferent to all the possible outcomes for less stress, stress too much and hello there fear and nervousness. What happens when you’re nervous? Shakes? Sweats? Urge to go to the bathroom? Babble on? or maybe a loss of words. If you don’t concern yourself with how this may end, you’ll walk into this big thing relaxed, probably have more self-confidence just go for it with all you have, don’t act like you need this to end this way or your screwed, be you the you at your best is with anxiety and that’s enough to achieve anything.
“The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.”
― Richard Dawkins-