Apathy

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By Asiya Shoaib Ismail

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People expect most of those around them to be concerned and sympathetic to the troubles that others face, and it is, I guess, the most natural and humane response to incidents of violence or hurt. But what does one do if they stop giving the normally expected response?

Clearly that is, what I appear to be going through. As a child and a teenager, I was rather impassioned, full of patriotism and this hope that I could fix things, fix my society of its ills and evils. I had grown up expose to many realities of my country but still viewed them in a very idealistic light. The mere fact that I have given up even before I have graduated is a shame, and I am truly embarrassed to admit that I am, in fact, apathetic.

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It’s worth addressing why I have become so. Being exposed to a society that is reeking with evils and vices, along with a very blatant display of them everywhere, from classrooms to the media, I have stopped feeling much concern about alleviating and resolving the problems. It is not something that a single person can do alone and there is no way that the status quo of this country is going to stand for and support anything that is for the benefit of the society. Only benefit for the individual works, and this trait makes the entire society uniform, thus negating the need for anything that would lift and support the masses. Secondly, the masses also go ahead and reinforce that which is uniform by their choice of leadership and administrators. Thus, every attempt for change is left futile and useless.

I feel like I have turned into a cynical, jaded and hopeless girl who doesn’t represent the youth or her country. I bear a banner all on my own without feeling the need to associate with one of the many labels that our society is broadly placed under. I have expressed the need to move away from the uniformity prevalent in our society and adopt a more individualist approach and I feel like I have come to own individuality as a trait within me. But, this country, and the people within it; I feel no element of sympathy or concern for them. I am, apathetic.

 

The writer is self-studying the Korean language and Hangul script at the  moment and possesses a keen interest in learning as much about the Korean culture as is possible.

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10 responses »

  1. This is a truly touching piece of writing and hits quite aptly at a point that I think most of the people in our society are facing, especially the youth. Whatever the cause of it, I believe this is a dangerous feeling for us all to have and does not speak too well for our country.

  2. It’s true, those who genuinely cared have ben driven to apathy, while a vast majority was already indifferent to what was going on (and is going on) in our country. Most people I talk to live for the now, rather than concern themselves about the future.

    I guess the problem is trying to provide solutions that are too short term and not have the foresight to think into the long term future.

  3. “It is not something that a single person can do alone and there is no way that the status quo of this country is going to stand for and support anything that is for the benefit of the society. Only benefit for the individual works, and this trait makes the entire society uniform, thus negating the need for anything that would lift and support the masses. Secondly, the masses also go ahead and reinforce that which is uniform by their choice of leadership and administrators. ”

    So true. In any case, i hate this saying which has now become common in our country that the YOUNG GENERATION will fix everything, and all hope rests with this country’s youth blah blah. I don’t see much good in our youth everywhere, so much so that the saying has been reduced to a simplistic platitude in my mind. Does that mean I’m being apathetic? Maybe, but I think apathy does not negate practicality either (at least, not in the sense that you’re taking when you talk about apathy).

  4. The best aspect about this piece of writing is that it is honest and shows an introspection that is seldom seen in the ‘youth’ that I have encountered so far. You have addressed the topic without complaining and justifying yourself, which shows a maturity and ironically, a sensitivity. You may think that you have faltered by coming into apathy, but you have stumbled across a dark, yet very important reality.
    I’m not sure if it is our generation in general or just a phase at this point in our lives, but I’ve been noticing this indifference for quite a while now. Not just in terms of being a Pakistani, but being human in general. I think that time and progression for us Earthlings has come at a price. Though it is impossible for one to arbitrarily categorize the good changes and the bad changes, it is imperative to be aware. Because separating blacks and whites is easy–it’s the grays we have to understand and account for. I’ve always believed that the opposite of love is not hate, it is indeed apathy. And it’s worrying how it’s actually becoming a mechanism for us to function in this world.
    So often, we are told to not care, chill out or get a grip, but what do those things even mean anymore? It is a decent idea being expressed in a wrong way. I think that apathy is important to logically sought out solutions, but only that. Letting yourself embrace passion is equally, if not more, crucial because we cannot prosper with just one.
    It is difficult to keep yourself in an idealistic and fantastical state of mind growing up in a world where we’re constantly bombarded with grief through all channels. If we felt sympathy and remorse for every single thing that happens to us, other people or our planet for that matter, we would seize to meaningfully operate.
    it’s very human to feel apathy, but to let that apathy give way to leading an empty life is inhuman and by implication, inhumane. I don’t think that you have stopped feeling concern per se, I think that the absence of pragmatism or specific avenues to practice pragmatism have left that passion dormant. After reading this, I don’t see someone apathetic, No, I see someone quite the opposite.

  5. The worst part is, most of our youth could easily relate to this. We’re all going through a phase where our patriotism is marred by the state our country is at. No silver lining in sight.

  6. The “Youth” is supposed to be the solution to all problems if we give up then what will happen…Evil will reign supreme.

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