When I started my blog, my bio included a laundry list of topics I planned to cover. It also included a rather abrupt proviso that I would never discuss politics or religion on here. I wanted this to be a source of escapism, not only for myself, but for anyone that might stumble across it or read as ardently as my mom. I actively pursue(d) vapidity, levity, color, consumerism, and things that are pretty. Why?
Because I am apathetic about the sociopolitical climate in America right now.
Since graduating college and entering the work force, I have been focused on myself; becoming more independent, responsible, and wise. I have succeeded in making strides in all areas and continue to hit benchmark goals, whether that be living on my own, saving a certain amount of money, or not giving my heart away to idiots that don’t value me. Granted, I do not by any means suggest that I don’t make regular mistakes, regress, or fail. I’m human. I take pride in the way I react to these pitfalls. Resiliency is something I’ve learned from a young age to be the cornerstone of survival.
So how can someone so motivated and driven personally, also be so apathetic about hers/his surroundings?
Firstly, there’s a discrepancy that is significant here. I am not apathetic about my future. I believe I am a willful, pragmatic person with the foundation (thanks, Mom), that I need to adapt and survive, and ideally flourish. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me and what each day will bring in my little bubble. What I am apathetic about is the sociopolitical climate around me.
I have my beliefs. You do, too. It’s my right to keep them private, just as it is yours. The same, of course, goes for voicing those beliefs. I don’t care to share them most of the time. I don’t want to read or hear about the constant turmoil in the government from dusk till dawn. Sometimes, even the social movements overwhelm me too. The majority of the time, I feel guilty for being somewhat out of the loop and not inclined to exert major efforts to find out.
Can you blame me though?
I read a headline somewhere on LinkedIn recently that the majority of Millenials are reportedly less optimistic than their Baby Boomer parents for the first time ever. I get it. I really, really get it. Whether I agree or not with a certain event, movement, statement, etc., I find it all to be too much sometimes. In the scope of a day, it’s no longer atypical to feel a sense of disbelief, visceral horror, firm agreement, deep shame, absolute joy, patriotism, and Schadenfreude. Why wouldn’t we retreat from the constant stream of news media that is literally assaulting us all day, every day? I feel like I’m constantly clenching as a means of protecting myself and being prepared for anything. Literally anything is happening these days beyond the scope of imagination.
I know apathy is not a unique phenomenon to me, this country, or other societies in the world. All I know is that I feel instinctively that something has got to give. I don’t know what it is, but there’s tension in the air that you can cut with a knife. Am I being selfish, capitalistic, or languid focusing on myself and tuning out the constant drone of garbage out there? That’s up to interpretation. The way I see it is that if I allow myself to be bombarded with it, I’ll never get out of bed again. If that’s the case, what am I to society?
I am tired of feeling like I need to raise hell and high water all the time if I find something politically or socially incorrect. I don’t operate with a sense of martyrdom. I have a sense of humor and I take ownership for my choices, even if they’re the wrong ones. I don’t want to feel guilty for being apathetic right now, but I often do. I don’t want to feel apathetic in the first place, but I also don’t feel that I should have to memorize the revolving door on Capitol Hill, declare my beliefs on Facebook in all caps, or feel pressured into making a public stance. We are all subject to change. This is why I haven’t gotten a tattoo. Who knows if I’ll still like whatever I get in a year? Conversely, who knows that I won’t want to get a sleeve someday? Calm down, Mom, it’s not likely.
What I do know is that I don’t want to contribute to the cesspool of vitriol and rage. I believe in the ideals of social justice, law and order. I believe in the Golden Rule. I believe in taking responsibility for oneself. I believe in the power of positivity. Why can’t we all be Mr. Rogers, damn it!
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