The Philosophy of Apathyology
Apathyology is the study and practice of not caring about the things we shouldn't care about, and caring about the things we should, but not too much. In its essence is the emulation of healthy self-esteem. A person with good self-esteem would find little use in caring about hate, war, greed, status, spiritual righteousness and the like. A person with healthy self-esteem would care about people, our community, our environment, but not to the point of drowning out common sense and tolerance for other ideas. That is the enlightenment of Apathyology. Our civilization teaches us that we must be passionate about things. Unfortunately, it does a poor job in teaching us not to be passionate about the things we can do without. Be happy, be excited, show kindness, celebrate, and work hard for everyone and everything you care about. Recognize the existence of the things you should not care about. Give them little thought and no action.
What is Apathyology?
We care too much. By that, I mean that we burden ourselves with worrying about things that we don't need to worry about. We are taught that we must care about things deeply to experience the nature of being human. We must care about good and bad. We must be passionate about everything that is positive, moral and just, and in turn we must feel as passionately about all things negative, immoral, and unjust. Apathyology teaches that the passions we feel towards all things negative is wasted. Spending our emotions on hate, greed, jealousy, revenge and righteousness is unnecessary and counterproductive. Indeed they are base human emotions, but caring about them only gives them strength. Not caring about negative emotions makes them weaken and fade. It is a human reflex to care about things. We care about ourselves, our loved ones, our spirituality, and our interests. We need to care about all the good things in our lives. Caring about positive things gives us strength. However, Apathyology warns that caring too much about positive things can be as bad as caring about the negative things. When we care so much about something or someone that we hurt ourselves or other people with words or deeds, then we are caring too much. Loving someone too much can sometimes be worse than not loving them at all.
Receiving the message of Apathyology.
Typically we get one of three reactions when people first hear about Apathyology:
1. "Oh, I see. Just don't care about things and all your problems will go away."
2. "I don't want to be some apathetic zombie. I'm a passionate person and I just can't stop caring."
3. "I understand. I've just never thought of it that way before."
I'll address each of these reactions, but first I will have to admit that Apathyology is a funny name for a philosophy. It does make many people assume that we promote apathy about everything. An understandable assumption, but an erroneous one. Apathyology is the study of selective apathy. In other words, using apathy as a positive social tool. Although the name of Apathyology does tend to trigger presumptions about what it could be about; we believe that it still serves as the most accurate name for this new ideology.
1.) "Oh, I see. You just don't care about things and all your problems will go away." I would say that this is the most common reaction when some people hear about Apathyology. It presumes a flippant attitude and the assumption that this is the lazy person's philosophy. For some people, once this thought is set in their minds, it becomes unshakable. Even though Apathyology would help them to be more open minded, Apathyology is not for them. Other people with this initial attitude often change their position once the philosophy is fully explained.
2.) "I don't want to be some apathetic zombie. I'm a passionate person and I just can't stop caring." Again, this reaction draws on the uninformed assumption that Apathyology means complete apathy about everything. The conjecture is that by not caring about anything then nothing can bother you. There are disciplines that exist that are like that, however Apathyology is not one of them. Apathyology is about refining your passions, not eliminating them. Just as it is unhealthy to eat everything you see - it is just as unhealthy to care about every emotion you have. Apathyology helps you to be more selective about where your caring energies are employed.
3.) "I understand. I've just never thought of it that way before." For some people the philosophical theories of Apathyology are readily apparent. They seem to understand the objectives of Apathyology with very little explanation. They often share the common trait of a pre-existing sense of what healthy self-esteem would look like. The message is clearer to them because they already had a concept of adjusting our personal behavior for the benefit of society. These are the people who have organized, promoted, and maintain the philosophy today.
I learn as much about the wisdom of Apathyology from the people who don't believe in it's value, as I do from the people who believe. -Uncle Cosmo