Apathy Alert

I am thinking about APATHY- At age 41, early middle life, with my house full of children, responsibilities unending, laundry ever present, broken belts on vehicles, locals please note the parking of my large van near a certain coffee shop, and no I am not living there, leaking water heaters causing the need for replacement of flooring and said water heater, throw in a couple of walls etc, sofas ripping at the seams, something and someone always needful of my limited resources, my brain power, my energy, my presence, my essence. I find myself at times slipping into a state of non-caring about the things going on in the greater world around me, other than of course the doings of my Facebook friends :-).

I looked at the definition of apathy, and it’s causes and offshoots, and recognized that at times we may all suffer from either overload or under stimulation and over competency or inability, all of which can contribute to apathetic behaviors or feelings. In my role as a long time homemaker and home educator I can suffer from all of them simultaneously in varying degrees and seasons of my journey.

One thing I did discover is the virtue of “apatheia” which is a good thing in terms of learning to manage one’s emotional responses to the things we truly cannot change in the moment, and I do think that maturity can bring that about in our lives if we let it. Still, apathy itself is not desirable and it is important to find ways to continue reaching out even in our own times of busyness with our own business.


Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement, motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical or physical life.”

“Although the word apathy is derived from the Greek ἀπάθεια (apatheia), it is important not to confuse the two terms. Also meaning “absence of passion,” “apathy” or “insensibility” in Greek, the term apatheia was used by the Stoics to signify a (desirable) state of indifference towards events and things which lie outside one’s control (that is, according to their philosophy, all things exterior, one being only responsible of his representations and judgments).

In contrast to apathyapatheia is considered a virtue, especially in Orthodox monasticism”



“Apatheia (Greek: ἀπάθεια) in Stoic philosophy refers to a state of mind where one is free from emotional disturbance. This might be translated as equanimity or indifference. This is the root of the word apathy. Apatheia must, however, not be confused with apathy. Apatheia is a positive term; apathy, a purely negative one.

Whereas Aristotle had claimed that virtue was to be found in the golden mean between excess and deficiency of emotion (metriopatheia), the Stoics sought freedom from all passions (apatheia). It meant eradicating the emotional response to external events – the things we cannot control. For the Stoics, it was the optimum rational response to the world, for we cannot control things that are caused by the will of others or by Nature, we can only control our own will. This did not mean a loss of all feeling, or total disengagement from the world. The Stoic who performs correct (virtuous) judgments and actions as part of the world-order experiences contentment (eudaimonia) and good feelings (eupatheia).”

Old song which is a good reminder to keep looking up and out.

Apathy Alert- De Garmo and Key

I hear the news, I read the paper

There’s no choice, it fills your senses

I share the hurt, I share the heart-break

It comes each day, the news is so relentless

My heart goes searching for a place to hide

I hear a voice of warning down inside

Apathy alert

I hear a voice inside shouting to my heart

Apathy alert

It’s time to do what’s right

It’s time for me to do my part

Broken dreams and breaking hearts

Every place you look, but who can change it

What can I do all by myself

I’m not a king and I’m no prophet

I hear a voice of warning down inside

Breaking the silence, breaking thru the ice

Apathy alert

I hear a voice inside shouting to my heart

Apathy alert

It’s time to do what’s right

It’s time for me to do my part

Degarmo and Key- 1985

Good article to ponder

Some interesting thoughts on how we, or out children, may arrive at apathy in an overstimulated world and how to direct the energies and passions properly.


Sherry- July 20


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