“So, what do you want to eat tonight?”

“I don’t know, I can go anywhere. Where do you want to go?”

“You know me, I’m up for any kind of food. I’m not even that hungry. Let’s just choose somewhere and eat.”

“Yeah, let’s just go. Just choose something, anything. I don’t even care at all.”

“It’s too hard to choose. Why don’t we just head over to the drive-thru or something and be done with this.”

“Okay, let’s go.”

This conversation isn’t just the premise for Weird Al’s hilarious parody, Trapped in the Drive Through, but it’s also the current sad state of our youth.

So often, my peers and I would claim that we wouldn’t do something because it would be “too much work”, or maybe because we are “too lazy”. While those are both possible reasons, I think that neither are true. After all, what kind of homework would be too much work for such a smart and talented student to handle? And what kind of person would be too lazy to get something easily productive done, and instead turn towards mindless drivel and entertainment?

These are symptoms of not laziness, but instead, this growing problem of apathy. Of course, you can tell why we like to brand ourselves as lazy and not apathetic, as the mere word leaves a nasty taste in your mouth. In fact, laziness is almost coveted, as if the smart lazy students have access to this magical ability to get their mandatory things done without using any effort.

Because, you know, not having any effort is idolized here.

I would dare guess that the root cause of all of this isn’t within the lazy nature of humanity, it’s more in the apathetic nature of humanity. That quiet voice within us that says, just let it be, someone else will take care of it, it doesn’t matter if you do anything. You don’t need to have a strong opinion, because your voice is just going to be drowned out anyways. You can just busy yourself with your own social circle and don’t need to reach out to that outcast; someone else will become friends with him anyways.

And those are just the things that some people actually like to do. When you put students into a learning environment, they just have such a sense of “why on earth do we need to learn this” or a type of general rebellion against the subject. Some of the better students would be motivated, but not for the pursuit of knowledge, but for the pursuit of a green checkmark on webassign.

We live in a world where apathy is rampant and often encouraged. Where, if we can follow instructions with some level of competence, we are given a golden star and a slap on the back. Where not wanting to push yourself to the limit is expected of us.

This has to change. Whatever we do, we must attack it like a fire, consuming it with all of our might and not letting a single scrap go to waste.

There is a quote, “If you are not moving forwards, you are falling behind.” What today’s society seems to be reinforcing is the opposite; that it is perfectly fine to be treading water, that nobody cares if you are improving. Well, we will have to wake up soon. We must keep finding passion in what we do, and find joy in every action.

One thought on “Apathy

  1. This really hit home…good post :)

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