Let us start with APATHY.  In a single word, the encompassment of ALL problems in the world today.

I wanted to start with this to clear a few things up right away.  First, if you want to know why the world is in such dire straits (and have no doubt, it is), this is the reason.  Although I believe it has been in worse, I’m not sure the historic reason(s) can be attributed to apathy.  Second, as you read my posts in the future you may come to conclude that I have it.  But, of course, you’d be in error.  There is great difference between not caring and acknowledging the situation around you. Were I not to care, this blog would be superfluous to my end.  My goal is education.  My greatest adversary is apathy.

> Some have suggested ignorance is that single word.  I would of course disagree.  While everyone is born ignorant and to various extent remain ignorant about most things (there are countless things about which to know in this world), the ones whose ignorance is problematic are the ones to apathetic to educate themselves.  While people are born ignorant, and you really can’t fault them for that, many choose to stay that way – for that you can fault them.

>  It is though, what led to the circumstances of today. Little by little people are giving up.  It is easier (I will speak of this later spread across numerous blog entries) to just sit back and let others do what needs to be done.  Self-satisfaction…  Who needs it?  A true understanding of whatever topic one is addressing… why?

>  Read some newspaper article, usually written by those that lack the knowledge themselves and who refuse due diligence, and you are an expert. Why bother to actually do your own research?  Why bother to substantiate accuracy?  Apathy.

  • As an intelligence officer in the military I HAD to be correct.  Lives often depended on it.  I had not the luxury of a retraction.  Local/National news periodicals, CNN, NBC, etc can always say “oops”.  Often should.  Rarely do.  People then come to believe this is an acceptable manner of living their lives.  Why learn?  Just repeat.  If it is wrong, most won’t know anyway.  Apathy.

>  A few small examples – many more will follow:

  • Drivers that drive slow in the left lane.  Most (if not all) states in which I’ve driven require slower traffic to keep right.  Often times there are even road signs to that affect.  But do people do it?  Do they care if they are blocking traffic?  Do they care about the law?  Apparently not.  While it is not justification for “taking things into your own hands”, I can certainly understand the frustration of those wanting to get by.  And I believe many of them don’t even understand they are doing something wrong.  You may suggest that means they are ignorant, not apathetic.  You’ve be wrong.  While they may very well be ignorant, the fact that they don’t think enough about their fellow man to learn correct, courteous driving confirms their apathy.  On the other hand, if they DO know (as I suspect is the case in some instances), they are precariously apathetic.
  • Not signaling when changing lanes.  On my way to work one day I witnessed a car change lanes not less than 10 times (in the span of just a few miles).  Not once did he signal.  The one time I saw a signal, he didn’t change lanes.  This was during Rush Hour when many of his lane changes were dangerously close to other cars.  I have come to realize and acknowledge, if not complete accept, that these people are far more important than the rest of us and have places to go, people to see, and things to do.  All far more important than whatever the rest of us might have on our list for the day.  Forget HOV lanes.  Consider VIP lanes.  Would you need a special license plate?  How does one prove they are more important than the rest?  Apathy.
  • Wearing pajama in public. Saw one just the other day at Einstein’s Bagels.  Grow women (probably thirties) in PJs and slippers.  Seriously.  At hotels such as Embassy Suites where breakfast is offered.  It may be breakfast but it is still public.  Put some clothes on.  More on clothing on a different day.
  • According to the latest statistics from the US Census Bureau, between 1932 and 2010 the percentage of voting age population that voted in the general elections ranged from 49% (1996) to 63% (1960).  The latest election for which they have numbers showed a percentage of 58.  These are the people that run our country folks.  These are the people that make significant decisions about our lives.  These are the people that take and spend OUR money, send our military to war, determine how our children will be educated (more on this later as well).  And never in, at least, the last 80 years has even 2/3 of the population taken the time to vote.  Apathy.

>  I coined a “phrase” a few years back to describe those of my students that just didn’t care.  IDC. I Don’t Care.  I know – real original right?  But it captures the essence of so many today.

>  Is everyone apathetic? Certainly not.  However, I have concluded that we are reaching the “tipping point” [Malcolm Gladwell].  How little things can make a big difference.  Once you get past that tipping point you are gone.  Life as we know it is over.  Usually this is not good.  Since we are concerned here with the sociological aspects, as Gladwell states, “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.”  Have we yet arrived at the tipping point in this country?  In the world?  I’m not sure we have.  However, I AM sure we are darn close.

>  This idea goes along with the “Butterfly Effect”.  In chaos theory, the Butterfly Effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state [freedictionary.com].  In mathematics, a nonlinear system is one whose output is not directly proportional to its input.  Yes, I understand and LOVE the last few sentences.  Bottom line:  A butterfly can cause a hurricane.  A recent example – voting for a Socialist leadership results in higher taxes, increased debt, fewer jobs, etc. and, ultimately, the collapse of a society as it was formerly known.  Look at Europe.  Again, I’m not claim we, the US, have reached that tipping point.  However, it is clear a significant number of us don’t seem to care what the consequences of our actions are.  Maybe once they experience those consequences the apathy will subside.  Can you say “too late”?!  While I have no intention of turning this into a political blog, I can assure you there will be a few posts in the future concerning the recent choices of many in the US (as well as a suggested name change).

>  Can we change it?  Well, YOU can.  However, it may take quite a few of you to turn things around.  There are quite a few IDCs with which you are competing.  And THEY have a lot to lose.  Apathy has led to dependence.  Dependence leads to anger if support is removed.  Anger and apathy together is not a good combination.

>  It is going to come to a head in this country and this world at some point.  A new Dark Ages if you will (more on this later as well).  Some are even preparing.  I suspect I will no longer be when this occurs.  However, things do have a propensity in this day-in-age to move swiftly.

>  Again, I have just touched on the problem to bring it to light at the beginning.  Many of my future posts will have an apathy component.  I won’t necessarily tie them specifically to apathy.  I will often leave it to you, the reader, to make the connection.

   “Remember, upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.”  –Alexander the Great

>>> The day is at a close, the night is drawing in and my cigar awaits – ’til next time…