The arts have the power to change lives, to communicate in a way that few mediums are able, to overcome barriers while reaching people globally, and to motivate people to search within themselves and strengthen their inner beings. It is through the arts that many powerful messages have been shared and many prominent issues addressed throughout time. One of the prevailing concerns within society that the arts have addressed is social apathy, an attitude of indifference which can have severe consequences and can, ultimately, shake society from its foundation and cause collapse. While, within recent times, many people have been uniting to let their voices be heard about prominent social and political issues, social apathy is still prevalent in society. Affecting all demographics and producing negative rippling consequences, it merits large-scale and urgent attention.
He’s walking down the side of the road, the blazing sun stroking his bare back as his sweat drenched t-shirt is wrapped around his head.
He’s riding a moped at 5:30 in the morning, one headlight on with no turning signals other than his outstretched arm.
He’s emptying the trash pal in the classroom.
Every day is the same. Yet, no one stops to ask their names. These are our brothers, just like you and me. They have a mission in life, something that drives them to keep pressing forth.
With dreams and aspirations, they continue their path. Yet, no one stops to ask them their stories, stories so great that they could move mountains and so high that they could touch the sky. No one seems to care.
Oh, the power that could be released when we learn to appreciate the potential in others.
Oh, the beauty that would abound when we realize that the differences in each individual can work together to make a difference in the world we know.
But, entangled in our own cares, we often take for granted our brothers.
“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” –
A battle is raging – a battle in which wrong opposes right, a battle in which hate opposes love, and a battle in which deceit opposes honesty. Our values are being challenged, and it seems as if virtue may be losing. Detestation, greed, and selfishness often seem the norm. Where are the days when we picked up our fallen brothers and sisters, rather than gossip about those who have fallen? Where are the papers in which the headlines about the love of humanity triumphed over the hate lingering around us? Where are the people who were not ashamed to use their voices to make a difference?
Shattered glass among the floor
The echoing sound of a slammed door
Trembles of fear as someone gets the news
A broken bone, cut, or bruise
The bellowing of hunger pains
Ripped clothing soaked in blood sweat stains
No safe place to rest a weary soul
Unanswered pleas leaving one to feel unwhole
Another case of prejudice hitting the front page
Racial tension, injustice, and rage
Just a few of the perils people might face each day
We should seek to help one another without delay
What will it take before we decide to take a stand
Look realistically and lend a helping hand
If you don’t care, then who will?
Who will take the time to notice?
Who will take the time to care?
Who will say a kind word,
Rather than turn away or stare?
Who will love through the hurt?
Who will make others alert?
Who will be the one to make a way?
Who will be the change in someone’s life today?
If you had the opportunity to touch a life,
Spread love and put an end to strife,
If you had the opportunity to say something nice to someone, would you?
Would you save a life?
Would you put an end to strife?
Would you lend a helping hand?
Would you try to understand?
Would you stand up against hate?
There’s silence in the air as another one has fallen
No words can bring back the innocence of lives taken much too soon
And we wonder what we can do to change the past
Starting today, we need to make the moments last
To share our voices; to show we love and care
To let those who feel alone know that we are there
To comfort them and guide them, to appreciate their worth
To let them know that their uniqueness is needed in the Earth
We can’t take back the past but we can start today
To cherish every living being and create a way
That encourages all precious souls to recognize their beauty
To show, through kindness and understanding, that their presence is key
Let love shine and let it shine through me. Let me be the light that others need to see.
- Alright – Mike Yung
- An Act of Kindness – Bastille
- Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins
- Anyone – Demi Lovato
- Believe in Humanity – Carole King
- Belong – gnash ft. DENM
- Brother – NeedtoBreathe ft. Gavin DeGraw
- Change – Carrie Underwood
- Does Anybody Hear Her – Casting Crowns
- Don’t You (Forget About Me) – Simple Minds
- Everyone’s Someone – LeAnn Rimes ft. Brian McFadden
- Girls on Their Phones – DALES
- Give the Love Around – The Script
- God Bless the Child – Shania Twain
- Here I Am – Renee Sandstrom
- I Need To Wake Up – Melissa Etheridge
- If We Keep Doing Nothing – Kris Allen
- Invisible – Skylar Grey
- In the Basket – Phil Cross & The Poet Voices
- I’ve Got A Life – Eurythmics
- Love Brings Change – Jamie Foxx
- Mirrors – Niall Horan
- Nobody Knows – P!nk
- One – U2
- Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) – Diana Ross
- Reflection – Christina Aguilera
- Sing for the Common Man – Dolly Parton
- Sk8er Boi- Avril Lavigne
- Stand in the Light – Jordan Smith
- The Vision of Love – Kris Allen
- Underdog – Jonas Brothers
- Wanted – OneRepublic
- Welcome to Paradise – Green Day
- What About Us – P!nk
- What If – Reba McEntire
- While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles
What is social apathy?
Social apathy can be defined as a lack of concern and involvement which has detrimental effects among large groups of people. Some of the negative consequences that may be associated with social apathy are prejudice, intolerance, homelessness, hunger, poverty, isolation, and repression.
Why is it imperative to recognize social apathy?
Many devastating conditions that people confront not only affect those being oppressed but also society as a whole. Since existence is largely dependent on human interaction, the obstacles that one person confronts will have rippling consequences on the larger population. While people who are united may have the power to overturn negative situations by voicing their opinions and sparking positive change, which includes the implementation and execution of needed actions, social apathy can deviate purpose and detract from objectives and goals. Within such cultural areas as education and politics, social apathy has been a key factor in preventing forward progress. It has diminished ambition, abolished motivation, disengaged and disconnected people from their peers and community, and allotted unhealthy functioning amongst members of society. In fact, apathy can be likened unto a type of social quicksand which leads nowhere, swallows up individuals, and is unproductive to society.
What are the benefits of social involvement?
In contrast to apathy, social involvement improves morale, promotes communication, enhances community engagement, and cultivates democratic environments. Improved health, enhanced energy, enriched caring attitudes, and productive social responsibility are positive benefits which can be generated from social involvement.
Considering the negative consequences of social apathy, as well as the positive benefits of social involvement, why do some people choose to be socially apathetic?
One of the main reasons why social apathy has been a prominent issue in society is that it has neither been effectively acknowledged nor addressed. Social apathy’s effects are detrimental and widespread, impacting not only those displaying the apathy but also society, as a whole, and, although it is drawing some attention and action, more awareness about social apathy and its ramifications is needed. While the consequences are often treated with precedence over the causes of apathy, there is a critical need to discover what causes apathy so that it can be effectively confronted. Another reason why social apathy may be prevalent in society is because of the lack of concern and care in which it is firmly rooted, and from which no positive benefit can be productively cultivated. When people stop caring, they stop envisioning what the future could look like if members of society banded together to create positive change. Moreover, some people may be socially apathetic due to the carefree attitude that they adopt which generally prioritizes the focus of oneself over the focus of others. In these matters, it is important to note that some change has been seen within recent times as people have made it their responsibility to care about the future of those suffering and have become proactive by such means as marches and protests, but greater impacts will be seen as more people become concerned about members of society and share a vision of a brighter future for all. Still, another reason why some people may be apathetic can be attributed to their lifestyle in which, due to spending a large portion of the day on technological gadgets, they may be more apt to be isolated, withdrawn from society, and detached, especially in cases where they do not engage in social communication. Regardless of the cause, in order for apathy to be overcome, it must be seen as a detrimental crisis in need of positive social involvement.
Should people concern themselves with the situations of others and, if so, to what extent?
There is debate regarding the role that civilians should take in concerning themselves with the affairs of others and the extent to which they should take proactive roles. While some people believe that they should stay out of the situations of others if the situations don’t directly concern them, others believe that it is their responsibilities, as members of society, to intervene when needed. Although it is important to respect the privacy of others, people should be willing to provide help to those who are struggling, especially when their well-being is at stake.
How can social apathy be overcome?
Social change must begin with an introspective analysis by each person into their own being. Apathy requires a change in attitude and direction. People must recognize their roles in society and stay encouraged, engaged, and excited to live lives of active faith. When people look within their souls, develop their inner strength, and use their strengths to help others, apathy can be halted. Through the increase in awareness of social issues, the implementation of more effective communication techniques, the willingness to make a difference, and the establishment of goals, people can begin to share a vision and take a proactive stance in becoming socially engaged.
How do the arts contribute to social involvement?
Through their artistic works and contributions, many artists call to action people who will turn from apathy, initiate change, and make positive differences that contribute to the cultivation of society. With the leadership and motivation of artists, people can establish a firm foundation of concern and care which will prosper positive growth.