NO! I didn't say we were going to cuddle! Get back in your seats!
I said, we're going to have a heart to heart.
I was at a training a few weeks ago and this question was posed:
Now, I'm not sure if the presenters quote was accurate and if you know me well, you know the idea of a pitchfork wielding, fire-and-brimstone version of Satan is a subject of great amusement for me, but the question poses an interesting discussion.
Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Synonyms
indifference - unconcern - torpor - listlessness
I can certainly see some element of truth in this theory. Our lack of interest in our lives (and the lives of others) is clearly the root of society's lack of compassion. Our lack of enthusiasm for the little things (and even the big things) in life is clearly the root of society's lack of appreciation. And our lack of concern for the people and world around us is clearly the root of society's lack of consideration.
While I don't believe in the proverbial "hell", I do believe that compassion, appreciation, and consideration are key qualities to a happy and fulfilling life. So it's easy to see how the lack of these could be defined as hell.
That being said, I don't think being apathetic about whether you grab lunch from the golden arches or You Quiero Taco Bell is the downfall of life as we know it.
As a matter of fact, being apathetic has it's fair share of benefits so long as it is balanced with genuine care and interest in the things that really matter most. When it boils down to friendship, apathy is what allows us to make an maintain lasting relationships with people with whom we may not have a lot in common with.
On a biological level friendship (especially online friendship) makes no sense. You meet someone, invite them into your life, share with them personal information that could otherwise be used against you and take on their own emotional baggage as your own. You expend precious time and energy keeping in touch with them, following their ups and downs, and allowing them to see parts of you that are far more intimate than a Playboy centerfold. All of this is rooted by a few key interests that you might share with this person and without any contribution to your own status or wealth (not to mention no intention of trying to get them in the sack!) The reward of friendship is simply companionship and comradeship (not that I'm undermining the incredible value of these aspects, simply that they are not biologically relevant). This is where apathy shows its good side.
Without apathy, you will be surrounded by people who only think like you. And while it is important that your truest friends share at least some of your innate core values, you cannot truly grow unless you are surrounded by people who are different than you.
I pride myself in being very apathetic when it comes to who my friends are and how they act and believe. That's not to say I'm letting every Tom, Dick and Harry on my friends list (or that I don't run a background check and blood test before you step inside the compound) just that it is no concern of mine who's cheating who, how much money's in your bank account, or whether you worship spaghetti monsters by the full moon. I just don't care! And I'm happy that I don't care about these things because it allows me to be surrounded by some of the more interesting, amazing, incredibly unique people in the world. It allows me to make friends easily and let them go just as easily if they find out they don't like the real me.
Without this sense of apathy, I would miss out on some of the greatest friendships ever. And no doubt, many people have missed out on my friendship because of their own lack of apathy.
To all my friends who don't already know this, I LOVE YOU! I love you for your flaws and shortcomings (not in spite of them). I love you for your failures as much as I do your successes. I love you for the friendships you have as well as those you may lose. I love you in your time of need as much as I do your time or assurance. I LOVE YOU! I love you even if we don't like the same flavor of ice-cream, own the same brand of purse, or run in the same circle of friends.
And while I can be a harsh and abrasive bitch when I want to be, I love you even if you say or do things that I don't agree with. Even if your actions or words cause me to speak out against you, I LOVE YOU! At times it may even seem like all we do is butt heads on different subjects, but I assure you our difference of opinions is something I highly value because it challenges my way of thinking and I LOVE YOU FOR THAT!
And to those that may read this who are no longer friends of mine... your choice, your loss.
And to my husband who brought me an ice-cream cone while I was writing this because after seven and a half years he still doesn't know that I dislike ice-cream in a cone... I LOVE YOU TOO!!