The Problem with Indifference

During my senior year of high school, I worked with administration to train the entire freshman and senior classes in Hands-Only CPR. While we successfully trained over 1400 students CPR over the course of a week, I left that week with a pit in my stomach. So many students complained throughout the week asking why they had to give up ten minutes of their lunch period to learn such a “useless skill.” After overhearing many of these conversations, I tried explaining the statistics on heart attacks with my classes in an attempt to communicate how important learning this skill really is. Several students openly said that they still didn’t care because the statistics didn’t concern them. As appalled as I was to hear what my classmates were saying, what I was more concerned with was that they just didn’t care. They were indifferent. 

How many times have you scrolled through Instagram and seen a post about poverty, pollution, or homelessness and thought “that’s terrible,” and then continued to scroll through, giving no thought after? We as a society tend to act indifferent towards things that don’t immediately impact our well-being. Being indifferent towards others who are suffering is a very real issue that needs to be confronted, but you have to ask, what’s stopping you from acting? 

We go through the school system from the age of five to our mid twenties, thrown from class to class and in some ways, this has confused us into thinking that we have to get a degree first before we can go and make a change in the world. We see social issues in our society and think to ourselves “well I can’t do anything about that. I’m just a student,” but think about how many people you talk to in a day. Social change isn’t always necessarily organizing a nationwide hunger strike, or speaking in front of Congress. Sometimes, a simple food drive or speaking to students at your school can make a world of difference. Every single one of your actions have a direct impact in the world, so ask yourself: What can I do? How can I help? 

We have a choice every day of our lives in deciding how we want to impact the world. Our obligation is to act. Don’t wait until “someday” to join the conversation. Don’t wait until you’re “older” to have an opinion. Being indifferent takes many forms in our everyday lives, whether it’s being indifferent to the troubles of others, or desensitizing ourselves to social issues, it is prevalent in our everyday lives. 

With all of this in mind, ask yourself, how can I act today? What can I do to help make the world a more positive place? Think of the things that you are passionate about and then utilize those passions continuously to impact social change. When you stop waiting for the “right day” to start making change, you’ll start to see how easy it is to use your voice for good.