Evil Rant

Apathy is Bliss

Apathy has a bad rap. The basis of this misconception is that having concern or caring about issues or people somehow makes the world better. This may be true, however what about an individuals state of mind? Does a lot of caring about a great many topics improve your own, personal, life? Think about not caring to the extreme, if you truly didn't care about anything, then, in the psychological sense, nothing could affect you. In a real way, you would be untouchable (you wouldn't be bothered by pain or death, because you wouldn't care). Of course there are some obvious practicality problems with this scenario, but what if you were to apply a less extreme version of this tactic to your life? My point is that most people concern themselves with, or set themselves up to be concerned with, things which are simply not necessary to worry about. It should be fairly obvious to anyone with any intelligence or logic at all, that a certain amount of indifference is necessary to achieve contentment.

There's an infinite amount of things which a person could worry about, but just how much of this concern is helping you, the individual? Is feeling sympathy for a group of people you've never even met in some country you've never visited really having a positive impact on your life? Does trying to console a friend or coworker who is whining about a situation which they themselves are probably at least partially responsible for, really improve your existence? Wouldn't it just be easier not to feel guilt or obligation to these parties in the first place? Calculated indifference can be an extremely useful tool when forging ones own happiness. Many people would be surprised at the miracles which can be achieved by simply not giving a shit.

One of the easiest ways to avoid worrying about something is to not even know about it. But wait, isn't it good to be informed about current events, and other happenings? The real test of this question is, of course, whether or not you're life will be impeded by not knowing this information (not including any adverse impact on your social situation, but we'll get to that in a moment). If you're in a profession which requires up to date information, then obviously certain news is valuable (though only as it relates to your job). However, it is foolish to want to keep up with the latest developments and trends simply out of the principle of the thing. Especially since most of it is not only unnecessary for you to know, but could threaten your personal well being. I think it's safe to say most of us do not need any more stress or worry in our lives and let's face it, in most situations that's all most news and cultural media can offer us.

Another consideration is the fact that this type of material is what makes up much of the social interaction, or "water cooler talk" that the majority of human sheep engage in. For those of us who would rather have lamb on our menus, instead of our social calendars, this shouldn't be a big deal (especially since listening to people bitch about there own lives tends to make up the other part of most social interaction). However, you may still find it difficult to divorce yourself from the need to "fit in". Apathy to the rescue again! It shouldn't be very hard to tell whether you genuinely like someone or you simply want to try to get along with them. Most people you're likely to encounter are not going to be folks you want to spend a lot of time with (especially if you're the type of person to read this blog). So it only makes sense not to care too much about them or what they think. And, by not caring, you can also simulate extreme confidence. After all, both apathy and confidence have many of the same symptoms, like being relaxed, and not too stressed or worried.

Practicing indifference towards the people around you can be a little tricky, because they will do everything in their power to encourage you to care about them (after all, they are just as selfish as you, just too self righteous or unaware to admit it). If you find yourself being drawn into concern for other people(or anything for that matter) and you know you don't want to be, try this exercise: First decide that who or whatever is doing this, is doing it for its own self interest and can only hurt you. Once you realized this, decide that its actions will not affect you. You cannot always control what's happening around you, but you can control how you will react to it. Try to analyze what kind of real motive or agenda is causing who or whatever it is, to want you to care or sympathize with it and its message. When it comes to most people around you, there usually isn't a logical or calculated motive, just some kind of irrational emotional need/self pity.

Most people would rather discuss stupid things, or complain then actually do something about it. It's not a huge leap, for a villain to go from this line of thinking (apathetic), to taking some amusement in the plight of others. Here is this person, who is trying to get you to care about some worthless issue, that doesn't help you at all, or even worse, trying to drag you into the pathetic situation that they themselves are responsible for, by virtue of their own stupidity or lack of vision. They deserve to be laughed at.

For a true villain, apathy may be a point of pride. After all, there's a reason why caring about issues and concerns is generally considered good. By not caring you are practicing an activity which is extremely selfish and indulgent. You are saying to the world "only my own personal priorities are worth my time, and anything which doesn't affect me is not my problem". And to think, some people actually try to pass love and caring off as the keys to happiness, they must be truly miserable.

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- False Prophet

October 2, 2006