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A culture of apathy

June 30, 2017

 

KAUFMAN

Kacie Kaufman
News Editor | kjk019@latech.edu

 

In today’s world, the general population has a slew of things to keep track of and care about on a day-to-day basis. From keeping up with work, school and those in our lives and in the world around us, there is a basic expectation set for how much we need to keep up with.

 

Along with staying up to date with events in our own lives, we are also under a constant barrage of the woes of the world. A scroll through Facebook on a typical day shows us snapshots of the world, from scenes of civil conflicts to the effects of pollution on wildlife.

 

A constant stream of photo and video content attempts to enlist the help of the general population against these issues. Buy this bracelet made of plastic, save the ocean. Donate to this charity, help victims of this natural disaster. Participate in this march, pass this law.

 

How do we choose who and what to help? It can be overwhelming, and often, we simply slide these things to the back of our minds and turn the focus on what we feel impacts us most.

 

Desensitization is a characteristic of our current culture. There are so many things to care about that we may begin to care about only the things that are immediately of concern to us.

 

As college students, we become caught up in our personal worlds. Our existence is reduced to making it to  the next assignment, the next lecture, the next test, or the next trip home.

 

Although we may do what we can to get involved and help as we are able, whether we volunteer with an organization or on our own, our efforts may start to feel insignificant. We may not see immediate, tangible or large changes.

 

The world is huge, and we exist on a comparably small scale. How do we go about making a big impact when we feel our efforts might not result in significant change?

 

We need to re-evaluate what making a “difference” truly means. It is an individual standard, and if you’re not winning Nobel prizes or conducting large-scale research for a catastrophic disease, that is OK. The world needs those who simply care about something. You don’t have to care about everything, but find something that matters to you and that has some sort of reach beyond your personal sphere and pursue that. Maybe it’s as simple as redirecting your daily coffee money to a charity. Don’t be discouraged if the change is small or not immediate. A difference is still a difference, however imperceptible it may seem to be.

 

I encourage you to look for the small things that you can improve. We can’t solve every problem and must be willing and able to accept this reality. However, we can ditch our apathetic attitudes and live with a careful awareness of our surrounding world.

 

Kacie Kaufman is a junior journalism major from Loveland who serves as a news editor for The Tech Talk.

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