Apathy is hella lame

I have a quick question that's been nagging me for, well, forever: When did it become cool not to care? Look, I understand that on some level, the whole aloof thing can seem interesting at first. It adds a dash of mystery to your persona where people wonder what you're actually interested in because you seem indifferent. Maybe that then makes people believe you're moody, a dark and brooding artist who has such dispassion in the world because you were hurt. 

Okay, let's not get overly dramatic here. Surely that gets old to play up, because that behavior definitely is tiresome for me to put up with. There's only so long I can deal with someone who's apathetic about everything before I feel the violent urge to shake them out of their stupor of half-shrugs. Do you care about anything?! Or is "meh" the sum of your personality, because if that's the case, yawn. Really though...like...why is that attractive? Why is a lack of enthusiasm something people are into?

In my opinion, there is nothing more admirable or attractive than passion. I love seeing someone talk about something they are enthusiastic about, no matter what that is. The fire in their eyes and the conviction in their voice when they speak on a topic that they care about, that really means something to them, is contagious, and I quickly find myself getting caught up in their fervor. God I love that!

When I meet people who don't care about anything and seem universally unimpressed, I'm always struck with a certain kind of sadness. Do they know what they are missing out on by being actively indifferent to the world? It's a self-imposed depression of sorts -- when you chose this muted version of life where you keep everything at an arm's length. Why? Because it's fun to not care? HOW IS THAT FUN? Again, it is a completely different thing to be in a mental space where you are unable to engage with the world in the way that you want to; depression (or other mental illnesses along those lines) is not a choice, and it is not fun. Not being able to have enthusiasm is a horse of a different color. But when you chose to be apathetic toward things because you're, what, trying to be cool? Not cool, brother. That's hella lame.

I'm a loud, passionate person about things I care about. "Outspoken" is a very appropriate word when it comes to describing the way I interact with my interests. I'm excitable, I gesticulate wildly, and I try to pull people into conversation because this is something that means a lot to me! And that "something" could be anything from books to politics, from gender issues to dogs. Seriously. I am passionate about many, many things, and I speak with he same vigor across the board. When I care, I care hard. Real hard.

Often, this apathetic approach to life is stereotypical of teenage/20-something behavior, but I've seen adults act in the very same manner. There's not much I can say to adults who chose to be this way; they've made their choice, and I don't get it, but whatever. Live your life and do you. But for teenagers and 20-somethings (like myself), let me make something very clear:

IT IS COOL TO CARE! 

I know it may not always seem that way, especially when you're around that kind of person, but it's important to care anyway! Have principles. Stand up for things you believe in or love, even if it won't win you the popular vote. So what? If you care about it, then it is important, and that's all that matters. Maybe, if you're lucky, your enthusiasm will rub off on those around you.

In this day and age, it's especially important to care about things and have strong convictions. Look at the elections we're going into. Americans always talk about what a privilege voting is, yet we have abysmal voter turn out. Some people, if you try to strike up a conversation about politics, have nothing to contribute. They say something about how the country is going to shit, there's nothing they can do anyway, it's depressing to watch the news, so they don't get involved. NO! SHUT UP! GET INVOLVED! Literally, every vote counts, even if it doesn't feel that way. And our generation can make a difference, if we aren't sitting back apathetically watching the world go by. We have to get engaged in the world for it to change. We have to care.

Next time you find yourself starting to slip into apathy, shake it off. Refocus and ask yourself why this is your natural reaction? Is it something you are genuinely not interested in, or is it just that it is sometimes easier not to engage? Because I won't lie: having strong convictions and passions isn't the easiest thing in the world. It can be exhausting. And there will be those people who shake their head at you for caring so much. I've had it happen to me. People have said, point blank, that the enthusiasm with which I speak about some topics is a turn off. Okay. I'm not here to make you comfortable or happy. I live my life for me, and I want to make a difference, so I'm loud and opinionated. If you have a problem with that, I'm sure you're someone I'd rather not associate with anyway, so let's just go our separate ways. 

Your opinions are important, and nothing that you care about is stupid -- no matter how trivial it seems. I don't care if you're really passionate about the color purple. Shout it from the roof tops! PURPLE ROCKS AND SO DO YOU! Find what you care about, what you think is important and what sets fire to your life (in a good way!) and follow that. Don't let others shake you because they don't feel the same. This is especially important to keep in mind going into the presidential primaries. I know it seems like a circus. I know it's a lot to stay informed about. But try. You won't regret you did, I promise. And there is nothing negative I can ever say about someone who is engaged and informed on the issues that are important to this country. That is an attractive quality.

Passion is fucking awesome. Apathy is hella lame. But hey, that's just my opinion.

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