Apathy is an Illness

I think this caption speaks for itself. First I argued that doctors that not be allowed to mistreat their patients and go against their duty of care. Then I went on to ask if anyone disagreed. Bjones2410 (we’ll call them BJ for short) replied. To be fair to BJ, I did ask the question in the first place, so they had every right to reply.

But I would argue that BJ’s tweet is symptomatic of a disease that is endemic within our society and it’s about time we learned to diagnose it and treat it. I’m talking about apathy. BJ clearly lacks empathy for others, and the opposite of empathy is apathy.

First, BJ calls me a stupid idiot. In other words, they accuse me of lacking intelligence or common sense. First of all, why is this an insult? The idea that intelligence is a form of moral superiority is rooted in classism and white supremacy culture. In other words it’s a bunch of abelist, elitist bullshit.

The fact that BJ uses it to disagree with my argument that doctors need to treat fat patients with compassion and empathy is telling, isn’t it? Instead of agreeing that empathy is necessary, they respond with insults and false accusations. I have no doubt that this person has their own insecurities and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are projecting.

But behind all the bluster is a casual indifference

And that worries me more than anything else. Because humankind has become completely desensitized to the plight of others. We don’t seem to care about hurting people’s feelings or causing them to suffer. Worse still, we don’t seem to care about how our actions impact others full stop.

This kind of apathy concerns me for a number of reasons. It’s how the power elite can continue to rule over us and maintain their control over all the wealth and resources our society has to offer without any real opposition. We’re just letting them walk all over us. It’s also how the power elite are so easily able to sow division and discord among anyone outside their power circle. We’re fair too easily baited into conflicts with each other and are hell bent on tearing one another down rather than turning on the real enemy.

Finally, apathy leads to silence. And in the words of the Malcom Luther Kind Jnr:

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter

MLK

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