Friday, March 31, 2006

love apathy malice

"hate is not the opposite of love; apathy is."
- rollo may, american psychologist

when you feel strongly about something, it is only natural that you will act upon it, whether or not those feelings are positive or negative.

for instance, my sister abhors spring onion. whenever my mother cooks soup with spring onion in it, my sister will painstakingly remove every single tiny piece of spring onion in the steaming broth. only when the soup is completely spring onion-free will she even take a single sip. that, my friends, is feeling really strongly about something and taking action on it.

love, is a strong feeling. when you care about something or someone, you will instinctively do things to protect them, show concern about them, and just be nice to them. plus, as i've already demonstrated in the example above, hate is an equally strong feeling and elicits reactions that reflect the same degree of emotion.

apathy, however, is just total impassiveness. when you don't feel anything about anything, you can just shrug your shoulders and go on with your life. oh, maybe you'll do something just for the heck of it, but without the feelings to drive your actions, it is empty and meaningless.

i'm not going to talk about doctors becoming more and more apathetic with the increasing number of years they spend in practice. most of us are already well-acquainted with the image of physicians seeing patients as afflictions first and people second, and most medical students (myself included) fear that they too will one day be those lifeless doctors who dispense medication for profit and not because there is a true desire to help relieve the discomfort of others.

i just feel like writing about...

let's say there's this issue out there. it concerns you and me and everyone else close to us. there is someone championing this issue on our behalf, and we're happy about it, because it means that if all goes well, life will be better for us.

you would want that person to be doing it out of love, won't you? wouldn't it make you sleep better at night knowing that the person who is fighting for you is doing it because he/she feels strongly about it and is acting on those strong feelings? it sure makes it more convincing that he/she will do a good job at it, and that all the rah-rah is not just full of half-baked ideas.

even if you don't really know that person, you would want some kind of assurance that he/she is actually passionate about helping you and not just doing it for the heck of it. because that would mean that in reality, he/she is being apathetic and doesn't really care about the issue, or you, or me. it would be even worse if he/she is championing a cause for his/her own agenda, because that wouldn't just mean that it's all done without means that it's done with the intent to fool you. it's pretty close to malice.

just think about why you do the things you do. are you doing them because you want to? maybe your actions are justified by the intense hate you have for something. or are you just going through the motions, without any emotion, just for the heck of it?

what about the things you see people doing? do you sense their sincerity? or is there apathy in their actions? what about that unfortunate bit of malice? would your opinions of them change once you know the real reasons, or even the lack of reasons, behind everything they do?

i'm sure we're all looking for love in every act that comes our way, and in everything we do. why let the opposite happen? why give apathy a chance?

lishun at 10:19 PM