The, well, not problem, but the thing about reading a lot is that you often find yourself reading several books at one time. In my case, fiction and non-fiction, at the same time, and then you find yourself making connections.

I’m reading Madeline L’Engle’s Austin Series, and I’m in Book 3. And I’ll blog a bit more about the books as a whole, but I think it’s worth talking about Apathy. I’m listening to 3 religious characters, a Rabbi, a Methodist and an Anglican (which sounds like a joke and isn’t) and I’m hearing them all say just about the same thing. Obedience is its own form of freedom and apathy is a sin.

A recent prescription change has left me very ill, needing to be close to my washroom, and I’ve been sitting at home. (And that’s enough said about that, trust me)Effectively I have a book going in every room, and I get about 45 minutes, before my attention is distracted. I’m also reading Barbra Colorosso’s book about Bullying, in which she talks about roles, and the roles we play and the roles we force our children into. She spends a fair bit of time talking about not just bullies and their victims, but about the bystanders who watch, and the options open to them. She talks about apathy as the main reason bullies have power. They have power because we don’t care enough, we aren’t skilled enough, to intervene. And then I’m reading through Colin Thatcher’s defense that he didn’t kill his wife. And a bit of PPZ.

As part of a whole thing on forgiveness, I’ve been thinking about apathy. I’ve been thinking about enough and going the extra mile, and just being a bystander. If I had a goal in life, it would be to never be a mere bystander. To stand up and be counted, to respond to my fellow human beings. To not give what is easy, what is convenient, what is ‘just enough’ but more. To involve myself in someone’s life. To make time for others.

And I’m not particularly successful. I’m still self absorbed, wrapped up in my own life, but still, working on it.

A day spent, looking at the problem of apathy. It’s not a bad way to spend it.

Word of the Day

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9 Responses to Apathy

  1. areyoukiddingme says:

    I'd respond, but, well, you know…


    I have to admit that I am somewhat apathetic. I guess it's not that I don't care (sometimes it is), but that I am uncomfortable inserting myself into the lives of others. There is always a back story, and I never know what it is. Fortunately, I live a pretty pedestrian life, and don't encounter situations in which I would feel badly for not intervening. I've gotten better with age, though. I even stopped someone in the train station recently to tell her that she had dropped her sweater, instead of stepping over it, like a normal city person.

  2. Martha says:

    I am kind of brainnumb after the last week, what is apathy mean again??
    Hell, I couldn't be apathetic if I tried, I'm the person who can't keep their mouth shut, gets involved, and talked about behind my back.
    Hey, it's a dirty job, someone has to do it, right?

  3. HereWeGoAJen says:

    I love Madeleine L'Engle! The Austin series is one of my favorites. I have them all. I think A Ring of Endless Light is my favorite of the Austin set.

  4. Brown Owl says:

    It not always apathy that keeps people from stepping in. Sometimes it is fear.

    Good post Mrs. Spit! I can usually only manage two books at a time. And one of them is a cook book!

  5. Heidi says:



    (I am having a bad day and being forced to say Labia out loud just now totally made it better. Thank you)

  6. JamieD says:

    I would have to say you are more likely to go the extra mile than most. Mrs. Spit and apathy just don't go together.

    Labia?!?! SHOCKING!!

  7. Kristin says:

    Excellent post. Truly excellent.

  8. meinsideout says:

    I have never been a bystander – my husband wishes I was at times since it has gotten me into hot water and him almost beaten up a few times…

    I hate bullies. I despise them. I outed a shareholder at my firm for being a sexual harasser and while I probably am loathed in the good old boys' club (actually something I am proud of), I would do it again and even start castration as a fitting punishment if they let me…would that make me a bully of sorts???

  9. ..... Carmen says:

    Great food for thought Mrs. Spit. Thank you.

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