The Apathy Epidemic

The Apathy Epidemic

The bubonic plague, also known as The Black Death, was one of the worst cases of disease virality in known human history. The virus swept across the budding new world and claimed the lives of over 155 million people from 1346 to 1351. Those unlucky souls that happened to contract the disease died slow, lonely, and excruciating deaths. Fortunately, in the 21 century, due to better hygiene practices, sanitation, and medical technology health pandemics are quickly identified, quarantined, and eradicated from the general population. There is one disease, however, that is spreading rapidly across the Western World. It is claiming the lives of people we see every day, though it does not show as petrified fingertips and flush skin. It is the pervasive, and ever-growing, feeling of apathy towards life.

A disease is more than an ailment of the physical body. Disease, according to the etymology, is anything in one’s life in mind, body, and spirit that is without ease. The epidemic of apathy poses as much of a threat to the spiritual health of millions as the bubonic plague did centuries ago. The danger of this spiritual ailment is that it often goes unnoticed in the lives of people and that malignancy is unwittingly transferred from one person to the next in our everyday interactions. In the case of the Black Death, the virus was spread through nonexistent sanitation infrastructure, poor personal hygiene, and a lack of knowledge in virology. In the same way, the epidemic of apathy speaks to a lack of spiritual structure, poor mental hygiene, and a fundamental flaw in our understanding of energy transference.

In 14th century Europe, the lack of proper hygiene organization made towns a petri-dish of the worst diseases and pest infestations. It was common for civilians to dump their waste and excrement out of their windows and for sewers of the town to run open through the roads. In the same way, when we do not structure our inner lives, our unmanaged dark thoughts and feelings leave us susceptible to spiritual ailments. The infrastructure of our spiritual health is in the quality of our beliefs and habits. What we choose to believe about ourselves and the world helps to organize our coping mechanisms, rituals, and thought processes that ward off apathy. If we choose to believe positively of ourself and our place in reality, we build our immune system again dis-ease. However, the negative thoughts we most frequently entertain erode the structure that keeps us in good spiritual health.

A contributing factor to the bubonic plague was the lack of proper personal hygiene amongst civilians. It was previously believed that rats carried the disease, but new research shows that the disease was transferred mainly through human lice and fleas. Just as it is imperative that our bodies be groomed regularly to maintain health, it is equally important to maintain mental hygiene for our spiritual well-being. Apathy toward life is a spiritual illness that festers in cluttered and unmanaged minds. If we do not make the effort to maintain our mental health, we will not be able to bear the trials of life. What results are a mere biological existence and societal obligation than a life that is fully lived and realized. Making a habit of meditation, time in nature and away from screens, silence, introspection, journaling, quality time with family and friends, are ways to keep apathy at bay. Build habits that help you to appreciate life.

Another way that the Black Death was spread was via transmission through the air. Being in close proximity to those infected raised the likelihood of that person contracting it. In spirituality, we run the same risk of spiritual ailments when we are in close proximity to those that have the dis-ease. If we are surrounded by those that are despondent toward life, ambitionless, and unwilling to fix their plight, we leave ourselves susceptible to being infected by that low frequency. No one would advise a healthy person to be in a room full of people with the flu. Likewise, it is unwise to associate with those that are spiritually sick. Energy transference occurs through the time spent interacting with others. It is said that we become the sum of the people we spend our most time with. It is for this reason that it is important to be careful about whom you associate — especially when your immune system may not be the strongest.

Just as was the case for the bubonic plague, the epidemic of apathy poses a threat to millions of lives. There are those that walk among us that have fallen victim and have grown numb to life. It may not manifest as the grotesque symptoms of the black death, but the result it has on the human spirit is equally disturbing. When we make sure to prioritize our beliefs, maintain our mental hygiene, and be cognizant of our associations we ensure our spiritual health in an otherwise sick world. We do not have to be victims of the epidemic of apathy that is sweeping the globe. It is through the beliefs we nurture and the habits we have that protect us against every and all spiritual state which can leave us without ease in life. When we take our spiritual health into our own hands we can withstand every trial of life and still find it worth living.

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