Friday, May 6, 2011

A Question

Do you ever wish you could just switch it off? Just stop caring? Do you ever wish you could dial the empathy right down to zero for a day?

Do you ever wish you could sit down at the computer and not feel the obsessive urge to watch The Rachel Maddow Show and check AlterNet every ten minutes? Do you ever wish you could swear off the social justice websites for a while, and only read about pop culture and funny kittens?

Do you ever wish you could read about Western foreign policy without a welling sense of shame and dread? Do you ever wish you could contemplate worldwide human rights abuses without feeling sick to your stomach? Do you ever wish you could accept war and poverty as unfortunate but unchangeable facts of life?

Do you ever wish you could walk past a homeless person without being swamped by guilt and sorrow? Do you ever wish you could pass the sick kids' hospital without feeling your eyes fill with tears? Do you ever wish you could witness the gap between rich and poor without raging against the injustice?

Do you ever wish you could watch a TV show without internally criticizing its depiction of people of color? Do you ever wish you could see a movie without wishing for better representation of women? Do you ever wish you could engage in feminism and LGB activism without getting incensed by the frequent erasure of trans* people?

Do you ever wish you could stop caring?


  1. I've wished I could divorce myself from the human race, if that counts. In fact, I wish it all the time.

    As for the rest, I do think that lots of things are ultimately unwinnable wars, but it doesn't mean that the fight is not worth it.

  2. I know you're right - we have to keep fighting, or else atrophy spiritually - but looking around I see so many people who seem to have inured themselves to the sufferings of others, who just don't seem to care if their fellow humans are hurting, and I have to wonder: is it me, or is the world full of sociopaths? How do they do it? How is it possible for a person to seek their own gain and not care what happens to everyone else?

  3. Sometimes when I feel very sad/run down after seeing a lot of negative stuff, I just wish I couldn't care because it seems like it'd be easier. But then I realize that I wouldn't want to be someone who doesn't care. Because even though it's tiring or frustrating to see things I care about not work out and to notice things like under-representation of women and POC (and many, many other things), I eventually realize that the reason I care so much is because all of this matters, of course! And it's important! So it's worth it!

  4. Oh God yes. To some extent, I have stopped caring. I got wiped out and to a large extent gave up.