Courting Apathy

Courting Apathy
Dane La Born

Dane La Born

Last week in his column, Word From Your Brother, Nick talked about the cycle of sensitivity. This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately; the internet’s constant shift in problems, moving from one trend to the next to fight the good fight and wage the war of social justice.

My regular readers may have noticed a change in my pattern over these last few months. I tend to avoid the topics I used to devote weeks to, the tragedies that trended on a national or international level. The shootings at UC Santa Barbera, Ferguson, Tamir Rice, Charlie Hebdo, Leelah Alcorn, Diversity in television; these are just a few of the heavy subjects I covered.

Lately I’ve found myself stuck. Week in and week out, I can’t figure out what to write. When I look to the places I used to look for inspiration, news aggregators and comment threads on Buzzfeed, I see the same comments coming from the same people day after day, month after month, year after year and it gets exhausting. Emotionally so.

It’s draining to me to have fought for these issues the only way I know how, through my words, only to turn around and have any and all progress deleted immediately because our national conscience has moved on to something new and different to be upset over. Except that it’s never different, it’s always the same thing in a different form. Another mosque is bombed. Another African-American kid is shot dead. Another school shooting. Another tragedy.

It’s so hard not to give into the apathy. That apathy is an almost overwhelming feeling, pressing in on me every time I start to type a sentence that I’ve already typed a year ago, or even longer. It’s hard to make the same arguments over and over again when those arguments are simple common sense or basic human rights like “People who love each other should be able to marry,” or “I don’t think police officers should shoot so many people of color.”

In these last few weeks, I’ve failed on not giving into apathy. It’s hard to know what to write about when, in looking around the internet, all of the stories that strike a nerve would just be the same message I’ve delivered a dozen times over. It gets discouraging, yes, but it’s up to me to not let that be all there is. I have to fight against the apathy that is one of the great problems of my generation and continue to repeat myself until I’m blue in the face, because no matter how many times I say these things, they always matter.

Just because I feel like I’m repeating myself doesn’t mean the words no longer have value. How many people had to repeat the same thing for years before there was any kind of result? Letting myself be discouraged because our national attention span leaves so much to be desired is a silly thing to do. Just because I’ve said it before doesn’t mean my words stop having impact.

So I am sorry, dear readers, and this is my promise to stop giving in to apathy and to start focusing on the stuff that matters. Next week.

Categories: Commentary
Tags: Dane La Born