Apathy – Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference
Hildy : Hey Celine, long time no see. How have you been?
Celine : Don’t overreact. It’s just 2 weeks since we last met.
Hildy : Don’t you think two weeks is a long time?
Celine : No, I don’t.
Hildy : Then what’s long time?
Celine : Universe was born out of Big Bang, that occurred 14 billion years ago. That’s long time. So 2 weeks is not even a fraction, compared to that
Hildy : Oh come on! Stop being pretentious. How are you?
Celine : I am not fine, how are you?
Hildy : Why aren’t you fine? What’s wrong?
Celine : I am angry at myself, for being a mere spectator
Hildy : Mere spectator to what? Life?
Celine : Shut up, Hildy. I cannot be an absurdist like you. World events have an effect on me, unlike you
Hildy : Who said they don’t have an effect on me?
Celine : Weren’t you the one who said that life has no meaning and that it’s absurd?
Hildy : Yes, I did. Still that has got nothing to do with world events affecting me.
Celine : How so? Aren’t you contradicting yourself?
Hildy : No I am not. The fact that world events affect me, makes me strongly believe the absurd nature of life.
Celine : You don’t make any sense at all.
Hildy : Let’s not focus on me. What world events affected you?
Celine : How much time do you have?
Hildy : Not all day, why?
Celine : I have a laundry list to talk about.
Hildy : Oh, oh. Sorry, I don’t have all the time in the world. Talk about one or two items from your list
Celine : Have you ever wondered why human beings are apathetic?
Hildy : They’re humans because they are apathetic. If they have had some empathy/sympathy, they would be classified as animals, wouldn’t they?
Celine : I don’t know. Maybe I was foolish to believe that us, Humans won’t be so cruelly apathetic
Hildy : Lol, Did it take you 30+ years to figure this out?
Celine : I have seen apathy in individuals throughout my life, even I have been apathetic sometimes. But to see large swathes of society being apathetic was something new to me
Hildy : What are you talking about?
Celine : Talking about the horrendous scenes of migrant workers walking 1000s of kilometers to go from their work place to their native & not many people seem to care about
Hildy : Don’t make me laugh. You are talking as if this is a new phenomenon.
Celine : Well, Yes – It isn’t a new phenomenon. These migrant laborers have been there all over the country, essentially keeping the society running, through their tireless jobs. We never stopped and looked at them, let alone respect them. Not to sound morally superior, even I have overlooked them in my day to day life. Some people say that they were invisible till now and that now they are visible. I would say, they weren’t invisible, it’s us who failed to look at them. We were living in our own bubbles (we still do), but just that their sufferings are making headlines, we pretend as if we care about them because not doing so would make us look bad. We don’t give a damn about these people ever. Yet to see apathy at such a large scale, is disgusting.
Hildy : Wow! Go on, continue.
Celine : These middle & upper middle class Indians (I would call them Apathetic Assholes (AAH) from now on) make my skin crawl. They are the ones who are responsible for this inhumane situation. These apathetic individuals employ (exploit) these migrant laborers, for meager salary and complain that they spoil cities’ look. Government does care about the views of these AAH, by relocating the laborers outside the city limits, so they remain behind curtains.
Hildy : Aren’t you part of the same group? How are you not a AAH, yourself?
Celine : I am part of the group, but I didn’t vote for this government. So, I cannot be an AAH. But I give it to you, I am also an Ass Hole in one way or the other.
Hildy : Just so you know, I wouldn’t let you off the hook just because you accept that you’re an AH
Celine : Knowing you for such a long time, I wouldn’t expect any thing less from you
Hildy : Cool. Let’s continue your rant, Shouldn’t your anger then be directed also at the government?
Celine : That would be a cop out. These AAH are one of the main reasons, why this government was elected in the first place. They saw how badly this government performed in its first term, yet they re-elected it for no apparent reasons. The only concern for these AAH is that their boats are not rocked. If other person drowns they give a damn about it. So, Yes, my anger is directed towards these AAH
Hildy : So you have no qualms with government’s in-actions?
Celine : of course, I do. They were slow to get off the blocks. They kept managing the headlines rather than doing anything substantial. What they did eventually was insufficient. Yet. they managed to get away because of these AAH & their blind support towards this inept government.
Hildy : Can I ask you a question?
Celine : Would you not ask if I say No?
Hildy : I would still ask, yet I asked simply to poke you
Celine : Go ahead, ask.
Hildy : Aren’t you also in a way responsible for this mess?
Celine : How so?
Hildy : By being silent, by avoiding conflicts, by not raising your voice enough. You valued relationships over reason. You did play a part in re-electing this government, so now you don’t get a chance to point fingers at others and let yourself off your hook
Celine : That’s true. Though, what can a single individual do to change people’s minds, their reasons, their justifications? Do you think arguing rationally with them will yield any results?
Hildy : Did you try in the first place? Without even trying how can you know? Feynman has a nice quote, “When you say, I could do that, but I won’t – it means you can’t”. You really cannot argue rationally with these people. But you justify that by asking these silly questions.
Celine : So what do you think I must do?
Hildy : You know the answer, should I say it again?
Celine : I am asking because I don’t know the answer. Please do answer
Hildy : Stop worrying. Your worry is not going to bring an iota of change in the society. By worrying you’re wasting your time and energy. As Linkin Park song goes, “ In the end, it doesn’t even matter”. People will continue living their lives like they always do and might even elect this government once more. All your worries would amount to nothing then. If you think you cannot simply be a bystander, try doing some help to those suffering people, if possible that’s it. Other than that you cannot do anything and you must not do anything.
Celine : Yes, may be that’s right. However, when you’re part of the society, how come you stop worrying about the society in which you live in? Wouldn’t that affect you in the long run?
Hildy : So here it goes. Your worry arises out of selfishness, isn’t it?
Celine : In a way Yes. It does have some selfish reasons behind it, but that’s not the driver.
Hildy : Thanks for being honest. Anyways I wouldn’t Judge you, because you live in a society, where every action of an individual is bound to have some selfish reasons behind it. You’re no exception to that. To answer your question, have you ever tried not worrying?
Celine : Not really.
Hildy : Try it for once. You will feel much better.
Celine : How come you are not perturbed by these? Is it because you don’t care or there any other reasons?
Hildy : I don’t care, because I know the whole existence is absurd. What difference does it make, if I worry?
Celine : Here we go again. Anyway, thanks for hearing my rant patiently
Hildy : In a way I enjoy listening to people rant. It reinforces my belief in the absurd nature of the existence and also in a way make me laugh at people, who haven’t understood this yet
Celine : So you were laughing at me the whole time?
Hildy : Hell. Yeah ..
Celine : You’re incorrigible
Hildy : What’s the point of correcting oneself, in this absurd universe?
Celine : Fuck off, Hildy!!