Posts Tagged With: James Baldwin

Day 2914: Apathy

Here’s what Merriam-Webster says about apathy:


1: lack of feeling or emotion : IMPASSIVENESS
drug abuse leading to apathy and depression
2: lack of interest or concern : INDIFFERENCE
political apathy

How Apathy Differs From Impassivity and Indifference
Apathy, impassivity, and indifference all denote a lack of responsiveness to something that might normally excite interest or emotion. Apathy suggests a puzzling or deplorable inertness or lack of passion, as in “the problem of continued voter apathy.” Impassivity stresses the absence of any external sign of emotion in action or facial expression, as in “teachers frustrated by the impassivity of their students.” Indifference connotes a lack of interest in or concern about something, as in “the company’s apparent indifference to the needs of its employees.”

The Greek Origins of Apathy
There’s no reason to be uncaring about the origins of apathy—though there is a clue to the word’s beginnings in this sentence. Apathy was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Greek apatheia, which itself comes from the adjective apathēs, meaning “without feeling.” Apathēs, in turn, was formed by combining the negating prefix a- with pathos, meaning “emotion.” Incidentally, if you’ve guessed that pathos is the source of the identically spelled noun in English (meaning either “an element in experience or in artistic representation evoking pity or compassion” or “an emotion of sympathetic pity”), you are correct. Pathos also gave us such words as antipathy, empathy, sympathy, pathetic, and even the archaic word pathematic (“emotional”).

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Here are some quotes about apathy:

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their backs on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their behinds.” — Abraham Lincoln

“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. the opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.” — Elie Wiesel

“If I didn’t care for fun and such,
I’d probably amount to much.
But I shall stay the way I am,
Because I do not give a damn.” — Dorothy Parker

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.” — Fulton Sheen

“I’m terrified at the moral apathy, the death of the heart, which is happening in my country. These people have deluded themselves for so long that they really don’t think I’m human. I base this on their conduct, not on what they say. And this means that they have become, in themselves, moral monsters.” — James Baldwin

“Scientists talk about dark matter, the invisible, mysterious substance that occupies the space between stars. Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don’t know what it is. Well I do. It’s apathy. That’s the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives a Fuck.” — David Wong

“… the opposite of love is not hate — it’s apathy. It’s not giving a damn. If somebody hates me, they must “feel” something … or they couldn’t possibly hate. Therefore, there’s some way in which I can get to them.” — Leo Buscaglia

“Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question of what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing ‘we’ can do — but who is that ‘we’? — and nothing ‘they’ can do either — and who are ‘they’ — then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.” — Susan Sontag

Do you see apathy in any of today’s images?

I don’t know what I was feeling when I took that selfie five years ago, but I know it wasn’t apathy.

Here’s a song about apathy from the 1967 movie Bedazzled, performed by the devil (in the guise of the latest pop star).

I am filled with the opposite of apathy as I look forward to comments about this “Apathy” post, below.

Non-apathetic thanks to Abraham Lincoln, Elie Wiesel, James Baldwin, Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Parker, David Wong, Leo Buscaglia, Susan Sontag, Dan Rather, people on the front line of this pandemic, Merriam, Webster, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and everyone else who helps me create these daily posts, including YOU.

Categories: 2020 U.S. Presidential election, definition, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Day 2207: More than words

There are more than words in this daily blog — there are often photos, like this one:

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I often see those words, and more, on my commute to work. Here are some words to describe More Than Words.

More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.

There are more than words in this world, even for those of us who depend on words.  There are feelings,

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facial expressions,

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moments of reflection,

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forgiveness,

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consciousness, art,

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human rights,  music,

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and words that evoke more than words in us.

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I have more than words for the International Human Rights Day Celebration that I witnessed last night after work. Here are more photos (and a video) of my co-worker Sterling and his daughter, sharing words and music with us.IMG_1525

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Sterling (a/k/a Steis)  wrote “Lost for Words” after the violent death of a beloved cousin.   There are no words, but Sterling found some, to heal and move on.

If you leave words in a comment below, that is more than enough for me.

My gratitude for those who help me create these daily blog posts and for YOU is more than words can express, but I’ll try.

 

Categories: original song, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2127: I don’t know what to write about hate

Today, the day after the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh Synagogue, I don’t know what to write about hate.  Therefore, I will quote others.

Patriotism is when love for your own people comes first;  nationalism,  when hate for people other than your own comes first.  — Charles de Gaulle

This world of ours … must avoid being a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be, instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect. — Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works.  All good things are difficult to achieve, and bad things are very easy to get.  — Confucius

If you hate someone, it’s like a boomerang that misses its target and comes back and hits you in the head. The one who hates is the one who hurts. — Louis Zamperini

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference — Elie Wiesel

You reclaim your power by loving what you were once taught to hate. — Bryant H. McGill

Fear of something is at the root of hate for others, and hate within will eventually destroy the hater. — George Washington Carver

I was taught that segregation was the will of God, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. I was taught that women were inferior to men, and the Bible was quoted to prove it.  I was taught that it was okay to hate other religions,  and especially the Jews, and the Bible was quoted to prove it. —  John Shelby Spong

Hate has no place in the House of God. — Desmond Tutu

I never learned hate at home, or shame.  I had to go to school for that.  — Dick Gregory

It is not anthrax or terrorism or AIDS that is the worst ill in our world: The most horrible disease in the world is hate. — Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.  —  James A. Baldwin

I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them,  but to understand them.  — Baruch Spinoza

I don’t know what to write about hate, so I’ll share some photos from yesterday.

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I don’t know what to write about hate, so here’s Cantor Azi Schwartz singing Jewish prayers to the fallen in 2015.

 

I don’t know what to write about hate, but I do know how to express gratitude to all who helped me write today’s post and — of course — to you.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1863: Pain

How many people reading this are in pain, physically or emotionally?

Please do not add to that pain with painful thoughts or shame about past actions or inactions.

As a friend posted on Facebook recently, pain is not a punishment.

If pain is not a punishment, then what is it?  Let’s see what wise people have said about pain.

Fear is pain arising from anticipation of evil. — Aristotle

It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.  — Julius Caesar

There is no coming to consciousness without pain. — Carl Jung

Pain is never permanent. — Saint Teresa of Avila

Illness is the doctor to whom we pay the most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promises only; pain we obey.  — Marcel Proust

The great art of life is sensation, to feel that we exist, even in pain. — Lord Byron

I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.  — James Baldwin

Pain reaches the heart with electrical speed, but truth moves to the heart as slowly as a glacier.  — Barbara Kingsolver

All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain. — Iyania Vanzant

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. — Joseph Campbell

Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other. — Laurence Sterne

Pain is the most private experience, but its causes, whether natural or man-made, demand public accounting. — Nancy Gibbs

To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it! — Charlie Chaplin

If my art has nothing to do with people’s pain and sorrow, what is “art” for? — Ai Weiwei

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. — Bob Marley

Champagne for my real friends and real pain for my sham friends. — Tom Waits

It pains me to leave out some of the great quotes about pain.

This Tom Waits/Cookie Monster mashup helps relieve my pain:

If that doesn’t relieve your pain, here‘s some Bob Marley:

I always take pains to thank those who help me write these posts and — of course! — YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, quotes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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