Apathy, Criticism and Ignorance are Bliss, But Is That the Type of Life You Want to Live?

Blog depression

The love illness continues, however I am now lucid enough to write a post that I think is pretty generally applicable.

Fear

There are many ways to describe fear in the English language: terror, anxiety, trepidation, being scared and being frightful among others. For many of us in the world, you can add three words to describe fear: apathy, criticism and selective ignorance.

Apathy, Criticism and Ignorance are Great

Make no mistake about it. To a large extent, a life of apathy, a life of a critic and the lives of the ignorant are great lives. For those who are not clear on what I mean, answers.com says that:

Apathy: Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.

A critic: One who censures or finds fault or a harsh examiner or judge

Ignorance: The condition of being uninformed or unaware; lack of knowledge or learning.

To a large extent ignorance, apathy and being a constant critic are absolutely phenomenal ways to live because they prevent you from having to engage in areas of importance, which are usually terrifying. Let’s examine them one by one, beginning with apathy.

Apathy: Who cares

Apathy

This one is pretty much my Achilles heel.Over the course of my life I have realized that I have become quite skilled at emotionally distancing myself from things that matter especially if they are things that hurt. The way this manifests itself is in expressions such as:

“You know what I don’t care about this.”

” They will sort themselves out.”

“Let them do them and I’ll do me.”

Expressions such as these tend to be indicative of a person who is either consciously or unconsciously giving themselves reason to not emotionally care or not get involved in something.

Ignorance

Whereas there is the unconscious ignorance, where people genuinely DON’T KNOW that they don’t know, what I will talk about instead is selective ignorance. This is when people in one form or another CHOOSE to not know what they don’t know. This usually manifests itself in things like:

a) Always jumping to and accepting stereotypes.

b) Always blindly believing authority figures without questioning what they are saying.

c) Always skipping research in favour of information that is immediately available.

d) Chosing to get your understanding of a foreign place or people by the opinions of your fellow countrymen rather than engaging with the people and environment that is the foreign land.

Foreign journalist in Africa

Criticism

This one comes last because it is one of the most over-used ways that we use to avoid having to engage in the game of life. Like for example:

Why is it, that we are more accepting and sympathetic and loving to someone who is going through massive problems and wears their head down as a result as compared to a person who is ALWAYS endlessly positive?

Whenever someone is an infinite bundle of joy the type of reactions they typically get are:

“They are fake!”

“No one can be that happy ALL the time.”

Usually people are just waiting for such people to fall or drop their mood or get sad and melancholic so that they can say:

“You see, I knew it was all an act. No one can be that happy all the time. It’s not worth trying.Life is crap…….”

Smiling African

You Can Build a Life on These Three Pillars

Like I said before, you can really build a life on things that in the grand scheme of things does not matter. If you are snuggled tightly in a foreign country like I am you can move from:

Apathy: “If Africans are not willing to help themselves why should I? That place is not fit for human habitation and I am done with it, I don’t even want to think about it. It is not worth thinking about. Once they are willing to get their act together, then I might begin to think about them.”

to:

Ignorance: Getting all your news from the New York Times or publications written by middle and upper class men who have never known the reality of African poverty or the day to day mental and physical struggles that Africans go through.

to:

Criticism: You see, there they are on television killing each other again. They are like animals. Nothing like me and these good Westerners. They have respect for the rule of law, their buses and trains run on time etc etc

Question mark

The Question Is: Is That How You Want to Live?

I have asked it before and I will ask it again. Is that the type of life you want to live? Do you want to live a life where you are constantly hiding behind more and more reasons not to engage in what you know is important in life? Do you want to live a life where you have more names and ways to describe fear than you do happiness, bravery and love?

Now this principle isn’t 100% applicable. There are people who are genuinely ignorant. There are people who are genuinely apathetic and there are people who have things that are worth criticizing, however look deep inside and ask yourself:

Is this apathy because I don’t care or I don’t know how I would handle the situation if I did care?

Do I choose to be ignorant because once I have taken that pill, my life will never be the same again, and not necessarily in a good way?

When I engage in criticizing celebrities (yeah that’s you) is it because they are genuinely tossers and pieces of !$%^&*()_+^&*( or is because if they exist and they have happy lives they force me to question, “Just what am I doing with my life?”

I am as Insecure if Not More Insecure Than Everyone Else

Fragmented heart

This post was written because my love illness taught me that I use apathy to hide from what matters. If something is too much for me to handle, I hide behind it or run away and do something else (Not in everything but in a couple of things). So if you are coming here expecting to be judged, you have the wrong post. If like me you are looking to be challenged, then answer the questions above honestly.

Take the pills of caring, really caring and engaging, really engaging in LIFE. Life that is happy, sad, painful, heartbreaking, ecstatic, orgasmic, melancholic and thousands of other states and emotions all wrapped into one. After all you only LIVE once. So live, don’t hide, live.

Before you leave, make sure you leave a comment below and let me know what you thought of the post.

Be blessed and bless others,

Mwangi

No Comments

  • By Evan, February 18, 2008 @ 9:16 pm

    Thanks for dealing with such important issues.

    A wonderful post.

  • By Evan, February 18, 2008 @ 9:18 pm

    I clicked on your stumble button and it took me to a page of information about social networking instead of the page to where to submit the pots.

  • By Mwangi, February 18, 2008 @ 11:32 pm

    Hey Evan,
    Thank you for the kind words. I just checked out your blog and we pretty much flow on the same wavelength in terms of interests. The Bookmark button takes you to a site where you can choose which social bookmarking sites you want to submit to. I am sorry it is hard to use, I had a hard time using it myself at first. I think eventually I will remove the button. Once you have clicked on the button scroll down the page and you can select from among tens of social bookmarking sites and submit it to as many as you wish. Best of luck with your blog man. Let’s increase the +ve vibes out there.

  • By Michelle Vandepas, February 19, 2008 @ 3:26 am

    I loved this article, I stumbled it, but also tried to use the above networking tool and I got totally overwhelmed and frustrated with it. sorry.. give me a digg button anyday!…:) Great article though

  • By Mwangi, February 19, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

    Thanks Michelle and Evan. Feedback noted. I will now work to get rid of that bookmarking button and add text links that allow one to digg, stumble and submit to delicious.

  • By Zissou, February 29, 2008 @ 12:50 am

    Thanks

    A very insightful piece.

    Thanks again

  • By Mwangi, February 29, 2008 @ 12:53 am

    You are more than welcome. Hope to see you again in future.

  • By Zissou, February 29, 2008 @ 3:18 am

    Count on it!

  • By Mwangi, February 29, 2008 @ 3:23 am

    :)

  • By gal africana, April 16, 2008 @ 7:50 am

    I’ve learnt something today from this post :-)

  • By Mwangi, April 16, 2008 @ 11:05 am

    Glad you did gal, feel free to share the love and the knowledge.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Man Who Got Rejected Many Many Many Times But Still Got the Girl of His Dreams - The Displaced African — August 19, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

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