Jul 31 2010

Apathy – Who Cares?

I don’t think there have been many times in my life when I have been so disappointed in the human condition. I mean, come on people! There is a whole, big world out there and ┬ámost of you can’t even be bothered to learn about the one just outside your door!

I searched around the net for an image to accompany my “apathy” post and found so many. Which is kind of ironic because you wouldn’t think that apathetic people would do much posting of anything.

Remember the post a while back about Pecha Kucha? How inspiring it was to sit in a room of people who actually understand the principles of smart growth and the potential of our generation (and the one after us) to be infinitely more clever about the way we accommodate population growth??? Remember that?

Well, that warm fuzzy feeling was summarily shut down upon re-entering the insulated world of the town I live in.

Sure, I’d go so far as to say most of the people who do live here are totally for smart growth, the accommodation of a growing population, local food production and some of the most innovative green initiatives that have ever been proposed, willingly, by a developer.

The issue is that most of them think that it will happen without their input or support.

Worse than that, some people have so little regard for their community that they will allow others to feed them un-substantiated nonsense and accept it as gospel because that is far easier than learning something for themselves.

This is what your apathy sounds like:

“Oh, it’s going through. Of course it will happen. It’s a great plan, why wouldn’t everyone jump on board?”

“Me? I don’t have time to write a letter or fill in a survey or answer questions on the phone. I have a life you know.”

Crazy hey?

The people that do make the time to answer questions and surveys etc are the ones who are passionate one way or the other.

So, one one side we have the passionately for. On the other we have the passionately against. Both sides feel that they are right in their convictions. They are engaged and, sometimes, educated and, presumably, believe that what they are doing is in the public good.

(let me qualify that last bit by saying that sometimes people lie to make their point and while I find that morally reprehensible, I do think that their philosophy of the end justifying the means is sometimes better than sitting back and letting everyone else do the work)

In the middle we have the great, unwashed masses of apathetic individuals who believe what they read and allow others to do their thinking for them.

Shame on all of you.

You claim to want a future for your kids but you’re not willing to stand up for them.

You claim you want to see things done a better way but you make no effort to help move toward that goal.

“Eating locally is hard.”

“I have to drive my kid to school, it’s 3 blocks away and it’s raining.”

“I can’t take public transit because I have to wait an additional 15 minutes.”

“I leave the TV on all day so the dog doesn’t get lonely.”

“Who has time to hang clothes on the line?”

“The dishwasher works better with fewer dishes in it.”

These are all things we tell ourselves to justify our waste and our apathy.

In the years to come when you look out over what could have been a local, organic food-producing farm and see the blinding lights of greenhouses, don’t say I didn’t warn you that your apathy was to blame.