We need to get activated. I heard this phrase today at a workshop for undocumented immigrant students. And it made me think about “apathy” and “apathetic citizens”. Why are people apathetic? I’ve heard it used in a dismissive way toward young people of my generation, the millennials. But there are always reasons for why people feel and behave the way they do. They are not necessarily bad people or stupid people. Bad and stupid are just shorthand ways of labeling those you want to reject offhand. There is nothing deeper than that. But if an apathetic population is one of the major problems that is miring this country in infighting and political circus, then why is that?
Apathy on Wikipedia:
“Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical and/or physical life.
They may lack a sense of purpose or meaning in their life. He or she may also exhibit insensibility or sluggishness. The opposite of apathy is flow. In positive psychology, apathy is described as a result of the individual feeling they do not possess the level of skill required to confront a challenge. It may also be a result of perceiving no challenge at all (e.g. the challenge is irrelevant to them, or conversely, they have learned helplessness).”