The Danger of Apathy.

July 13, 2016

 

Right, here we go. I guess. Let's see what happens. I'll start typing and just see? I wonder if I'll get anything good on paper. Oh well, doesn't matter if not. 

 

When I was growing up, I used to say to people, "I feel very strongly about apathy." It was a tongue-in-cheek comment I made to make a few people smile, whilst also addressing what I believe to be a very real problem among people, especially the young: apathy. Specifically, in current affairs and the turmoil of British politics.

 

I will confess one thing here before I continue. This post will not be discussing 'Hiddleswift' - or something else in pop culture. I will address the concern I share with many of my contemporaries regarding the result of Brexit and our decision to leave the European Union. This may come as somewhat of a delay, but please trust me, dear reader, I have not been remaining silent on this issue - I just decided to wait until I went public.

 

To have an emotional or rational response towards situations - both empathetically or sympathetically - remains a true and real reaction to who we are. Actions cause reactions. Our opinions matter. Our decisions impact those around us. If reading this, I am fairly safe in my assumption that you live in a democratic first world. Congratulations to you. 

Apathy exposes us to an indifference which can have unbelievable repercussions to our futures.

 

Whether professionally or personally, I was also dissuaded by those who proudly stated their carelessness towards issues that directly affected them. And now, we are in somewhat of a predicament: In roughly two years, we will have left the EU - a process which will have been led by an unelected prime minister. What a crazy three weeks it has been, indeed!

 

My personal feelings and vote aside, I have, along with many others, come to the conclusion that Brexit should quite clearly never have happened. There are a myriad of reasons why it did, and we will someday see a clearer picture of it. My politics teacher at King Alfred School used to describe history as studying a large, beautiful painting: "You have to step back, and view it in its entirety. At this moment in time, we are simply too close to see it."

 

The outcome and subsequent fall of our currency, political system, and foreign relationships didn't seem to bother me. It would all be ok in the end, right? Even as my American friends started calling me to ask questions (most specifically, 'What The Hell?!'), I remained stoic and calm. Keep calm and carry on.

 

What really upset me was indifference I saw in those around me. Of course, people were quick to speak loudly about the subject - I imagine Brexit will soon completely replace the British 'go to' conversation of the weather - but they never really said anything at all. They blamed politicians, they blamed those who voted against them, and they blamed the actions of the sore losers. Did they discuss their future? Did they consider the longterm consequences of their vote? Did they even vote? The answer to all those questions is 'no'.

 

For me, apathy is a sign of ignorance, lack of awareness, and laziness. 2016 now means that we have the access to every bit of information that's ever been available to us. We no longer have the excuse of a poor education, or our lack of exposure to culture, arts, or politics. It is something we must consider once Article 50 is implemented. Do we become more engaged, or leave it to those who got us here in the first place. The decision, as always, is up to us.

 

James

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