Posts Tagged With: Leo Buscaglia

Day 2877: 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 210: A Worry Box

A few weeks ago, a woman in one of my therapy groups talked about a “Worry Box.”

Let’s see if Google has a definition for “Worry Box.” (I doubt it. I think I’m going to have to work a little harder writing this blog, this morning.)

Boy, even that little bit of fortune-telling I did there, in the parentheses …. was wrong. What was I thinking?

When I googled “Worry Box,” this app came up:

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which is, apparently, on a list of “The 10 Best iPhone and Android Apps for Reducing Anxiety,” published on 9/9/12 by HealthLine.

But I still need to define the concept of “Worry Box”.

Wait! Here’s an excerpt from “Two Techniques for Reducing Stress,” from Harvard Health Publications/Harvard Medical School, published on 4/9/11:

Make a worry box

Find any box, decorate it however you like, and keep it in a handy place. (I found that this was a great activity to do with my young children, since they loved helping to decorate the box.) Jot down each worry as it crops up on a piece of paper and drop it into the box.

Once your worry is deposited in the box, try to turn your attention to other matters. The worry box essentially allows you to mentally let go of your worries.

Later on, you can throw out the notes without looking at them again. I decided to look through mine at the end of the month, and while a few of those worries were still bearing down on me, most were unfounded. It was a good lesson that worrying is often fruitless, as a favorite quote of mine from Leo Buscaglia underscores:

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.”

I am very happy about finding that, this morning, for at least two reasons: (1) I don’t have to write a definition of “Worry Box” and (2) the second technique cited in that on-line article is another one I love to use with people, called “Scheduling Worry.” (I really recommend checking that out, here.)

I wanted to write about Worry Boxes, this morning, because I’m having some worries about my trip to England and Scotland with my son, which is ….. about one week away.

Eeeek!

My worry is right on schedule, based on my Past History of Worrying.

I tend to worry in cycles. These cycles go something like this:

  1. Something New (or otherwise scary/exciting) is approaching and is, suddenly, sooner than I expect.
  2. I worry that I am not prepared enough.
  3. I visualize and otherwise think about things that can go wrong.
  4. I forget about all the times I have mastered similar things in the past.
  5. I recognize and name my anxiety.
  6. I (and sometimes other people) do some work to help me let go of anxiety and worry.
  7. I feel secure enough and start looking forward to What Was Causing The Anxiety Before.
  8. Time goes by.
  9. Go back to Step #1, above.

Yep! It’s a cycle, all right.

So I figured I would do something new, today, as part of Step #6, above.

(I did Step #5, earlier today, by (1) sending a confession about my anxiety to Alexa, whom I met in the hospital when we were both kids, who now lives in London, and who has generously offered to take me and my son around town and then (2) starting this blog post.)

So for Step 6, today, I have designated a Worry Box:

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Front row: Worry Box, previously known as Precious Gift from Precious Friend.

Back row (left to right): A Monitor Screen Cleaner (partially pictured) (purchased at the same great store where I got the “Trust” cup, pictured here); Emergency Messages Box (described here).

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One more photo of the newly-dubbed Worry Box, before I leave for work this morning:

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The left portion of that photo shows all that was in the newly-dubbed Worry Box, when I opened it up this morning, for the first time, in a long time. On the right: another cat that helps out with computers.

Gotta run! Thanks to Alexa, Harvard Medical School, Leo Buscaglia, anti-anxiety apps everywhere, and — of course — to you for reading today. (And feel free to put your worries in a box, or otherwise away.)

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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