Apathy a Virtue?

I like happy-go-lucky people. I do. Sometimes I wish I was a lot more like them.

These people have philosophies like “He who cares least is happiest,” so they just choose not to get all hot n’ bothered. Great. Hot n’ bothered sucks. Trust me, I know.

I get that some things really shouldn’t be stressed about. Even thought twice about. Like the dishes in the sink, this blog post, whatever.

But when did apathy become a virtue? It’s more like an incredible gift. Congratulations, you don’t care about anything. Life must come easy to you. You’re like, naturally stoned always.

Coming from someone who cares about a lot of things, even blog posts sometimes, I don’t get this kind of thinking and living–not that it’s wrong at all. I just literally can’t comprehend it because I’ve never experienced it. I mean, for me, I have to choose not to care about a lot of issues and how to better handle the things I don’t even care that much about. (Which, FYI, I suck at.)

When I hear people say, “What does he care?” or “Why does it matter?” I must confess: I get a little hot n’ bothered. As if because we don’t care, other people shouldn’t care either.

So I write a blog post about it. But I’m thinking, maybe I shouldn’t care about what I hear other people say. The question, though, is how do I not care?

Thoughts on apathy? Is it a virtue?





7 Replies to “Apathy a Virtue?”

  1. Everybody experiences apathy about some things — just usually not the same things as others. Also, I think there may be a degree of difference between apathy and calmness (I realize you are not talking about that in this post, but the post made me think of it because I read that introductory essay by Dr. Rosenberg in the Humanities magazine yesterday… “The Majesty of Calmness,” and I’ve had it on my mind ever since). I think that being hot and bothered is problematic — and I say this as someone who understands EXACTLY how you feel — because it prevents us from thinking comprehensively about things.

    That’s all I can muster for now. It is basically the last day of summer, you know. ;)

  2. AMEN. I know exactly what you mean. I hate when I’m fired up or hurt about something, and then the person I’m venting to is like “Why do you care so much? It’s just not that big of a deal.” And then I’m like “WHY CANT I BE YOU AND NOT CARE??!”

    Anyway, what I’ve discovered about myself anyway, is that caring can be a good thing, too. I get overly upset and disturbed about things, but I also get REALLY EXCITED!!! AND HAPPY!!! for people, even over little things! I have a talent (and I bet you do, too) for making people feel happy and loved and cared about. I’m good at being thoughtful because I care about people–my family and my friends–more than most people do. So I’ve decided I’m okay with being a little overly dramatic about my sad/angry times because I have to take the good with the bad. Maybe that whole Ether 12:27 applies here? Maybe somehow, someday when we “grow up” the Lord can help turn the weakness side of this into a strength? I dunno.

    I also did myself a favor and married somebody who is completely mellow. He cares about things, but he’s not easily offended. He doesn’t mind listening to me when I’m offended or angry, but he doesn’t fire me up needlessly about things, and he gives great advice.

    Anyway, in short, keep caring!! Also, hopefully I’ll see you at Sara and Ian’s wedding next month! Hooray! :)

  3. Apathy is pretty awesome. It is sort of like my birthday present to siblings/friends almost every year. “My present to you is that you don’t have to give me a present either.” It’s comfortable, you aren’t doing anything to add, not doing anything to take away.

    Many people try to help out but it really doesn’t work. Take home teaching for example. The only thing worse than doing it is getting home taught. It’s supposed to be helpful, it has been nice once or twice, but the other 99% of the time it is a burden.

    In Finland, their military policy is “leave us alone and we will leave you alone. If you sort of piss us off, that is okay too- just be gentle.” While they aren’t helping people, apathy has a forgiving side like that cause they don’t take action or revenge/hurt people.

    I don’t like favors because then I feel like I owe somebody a favor (whether they expect it or not). I don’t like giving favors because I don’t want them to feel like they have to return the favor. It is this weird code. A way we are programmed.

    In a way, we could all benefit if people just said, “deal with it” more often.

  4. Apathy is not a virtue…at all. To me apathy is nothingness, a void, and lack of substance. You have to care about things. I think a better definition of calmness would be “imperturbable,” I look at this as being able to control your emotions, a self mastery, a choice consciously made, a strength…I wish I could be stronger than my emotions. It may be akin to faith, strong, immovable, unshakable…

  5. I think there’s a difference between apathy and, as another responder put it, mellowness. I’d say it’s hard to get me riled up about an issue, but that’s not because I don’t care; I just have other ways of showing I care. Apathy, actually not caring, as a whole is not a virtue. God cares; good parents and spouses care; children (you can see how often they get riled up) care. That being said, there’s caring about world problems and then there’s caring about which brand of peanut butter to buy. On the former, it’s fully justifiable to get hot and bothered about it, whereas on the former, it’s actually just fine and usually preferable to be apathetic. So what’s my call? Know when one is appropriate and when it isn’t. Oh be wise, what can I say more.

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