Passion and Apathy

Passion a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something. When I think about passion there are two interpretations; being passionate about a cause, work or hobby/skill and the intense feeling one has for a partner/lover.

I often describe myself as being passionate about the work I do and by that I mean I earnestly want do a good job and believe my work is of great benefit to my organisation. Despite going through periods when I can safely say I hate my job, my need (passion) to give it my best never falters and I continue to strive for perfection. It is thought that passion for work can be positive or negative. Positive if the individual is happy and finds the work challenging but negative if they are addicted to work (workaholic) as a means of giving them an identify and value.

I’m not sure which applies to me, I find the work challenging but at the same time I use it as a means of escaping life outside. I’m confident at work and I can hide from my insecurities outside. In a similar way to work, passion for one’s hobbies can be either harmonious or obsessive. Most of us successfully fit our hobbies around our homelife however for some hobbies can become obsessive, ruling their lives to the detriment of family and partners. If asked I believe most people would relate passion to personal relationships, either physical or emotional passion. It conjures up very strong feelings of attraction and sexual desire, often making it impossible for an individual to listen to reason and leading them to make errors of judgement.

In complete contrast the passion: Apathy (also called impassivity or perfunctoriness) is a state of indifference, or the suppression of emotions such as concern, excitement,motivation and passion. An apathetic individual has an absence of interest in or concern about emotional, social, spiritual, philosophical and/or physical life. Again I relate this to two specific areas – the world in general and an individual’s mental state. The society we now live in appals me. A large proportion of people have no pride in themselves or the environment they live in. They don’t appear to care how others perceive them or how their actions affect others. Few couldn’t care less about dropping litter (including dangerous items such as syringes) everywhere. They don’t care if others would prefer their environment to be tidy and safe. Others erode rain forests, pollute the atmosphere etc all for personal profit regardless of the long term damage being done. The future of our planet is of no concern, they ‘won’t be here’ being the overriding attitude. When I was young people took pride in their surroundings. Now, we are so intimidated by others we dare not approach the perpetrators for fear of being verbally abused or worse attacked. In turn we are becoming apathetic. Where will it end? As activist Dave Meslin argues, people often care but apathy is often the result of social systems actively obstructing engagement and involvement. John Dos Passos wrote: “Apathy is one of the characteristic responses of any living organism when it is subjected to stimuli too intense or too complicated to cope with. The cure for apathy is comprehension.”  This may be true but it would appear most people simply believe such issues are nothing to do with them, it is the responsibility of others who will sort it out.

We need to all understand that we cannot continue on our current course. I believe that as a nation we need to understand the implications and challenge this apathetic culture before it’s too late. On a personal level, I link apathy with depression. As Mental health journalist and author John McManamy argues that although psychiatrists do not explicitly deal with the condition of apathy, it is a psychological problem for some depressed people, in which they get a sense that “nothing matters”, the “lack of will to go on and the inability to care about the consequences”. Also Robert van Reekum, MD, et al. claimed that “depression and apathy were a package deal” In my own experience whenever I am depressed I lose all sense of purpose. Nothing interests me and even major issues leave me cold. I cannot focus on them therefore I don’t take any action required that normally would be a priority. From a personal perspective I link passion and apathy very closely. During periods of depression or extreme loneliness, I seek physical attention from men. I feel and exhibit high levels of passion towards the men I meet in the hope that they feel the same towards me with the possibility of emotional involvement too.


One thought on “Passion and Apathy”

  1. I totally agree with your theories on Apathy and Depression. People knowadays have no pride in the enviroment and seem to me to be more self obsessed. It’s a case of “who cares?” “I will not be around when the impact is felt.” But how do you change these selfish attitudes?

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