Monday, June 11, 2012

Indifference--A Force to be Reckoned With

How would you define the opposite of Love?  The obvious rote response would, of course, be “Hate”.  This answer, however, happens to be incorrect.  Hate, like love, flows out from our emotions with a high degree of passion.  You can passionately love someone or something and hate passionately as well.  Love and Hate both also stem from a position of ideological certainty.  You can’t love or hate something if you are unsure about it. 

The correct answer is “indifference”.  Indifference is the opposite of Love.  Indifference goes hand in hand with passivity.  You don’t need to get worked up about indifference.  Love and Hate require a certain degree of continual stoking in order to be maintained.  Indifference just kind of floats along with no energy expended.   

So what is the point of this conversation?  I propose that indifference is the antithesis of Love and, therefore, is something that caring people should actively oppose and be mindful of avoiding.  Today, when discussing social issues we hear comments like:  “Who cares…that doesn’t affect me”.  “Let people do what they want—it’s a free country”.  My all-time exasperating one is “Live and let Live”.  I nearly burst out laughing (or crying) when I heard someone actually use this as a defense for the Pro-Abortion position.  Did you just say “Live and let Live???  Oh…if only that were truly your ideal!  What you are really saying is—“I am indifferent to all of these social issues”.  I couldn't “care less”—ergo the complete opposite of love. 

The Bible commands us to “Love your neighbor as yourself”.  What does this really mean?  Well, are you passive and indifferent about yourself?  If someone threatens you or your family, do you just shrug your shoulders and say:  “Oh well, it’s a free country”.  Of course not!  You get worked up about it.  You become indignant.  You fly to their defense or defend yourself.  If the person being threatened happens to be your child, you may turn into a description of a wild animal.  Ever hear a parent described as a “Mother Bear” or a protective Lion?  You have an inherent, almost organic sense that the child needs defending.  We intrinsically sense that children are at a disadvantage and cannot defend themselves.  This is how God commands us to love those least among us:   

Help the down-and-out.  Stand up for the homeless.  Go to bat for the defenseless. ~Isaiah 1:17 (Message Bible).

Last month, during Memorial Day, there was a megathon History Day Channel presentation on World War II.  Since it was a holiday, I’m embarrassed to say I spent much of the day in my pajamas watching the entire thing.  I believe if we take the time to learn our history lessons, we can avoid making the same mistakes over and over again.  This applies to our personal lives as well as for our nation.  One of the last battles of WWII was on the island of Okinawa. The Japanese fighters were brutal, stubborn fighters, resisting to the bitter end in their entrenched dug out cave positions.  Unfortunately, due to their “passion” (or Hate), they convinced the local Okinawan population that the Americans were going to rape and torture them once they took the island.  In real life footage, never before shown on TV, these ordinary, everyday Okinawan families responded by jumping off cliffs in unison, or holding hands with their children around a hand grenade.  Those who surrendered were treated humanely. It was graphic and upsetting footage.  However, it left me with one solid understanding:  Believing a lie + being passive (indifferent) = a dangerous combination that literally leads “hand in hand” to destruction of you and your family.  I shudder to think this has the potential to be a characterization of the American Family in the advancement of the Human Secularism philosophy. 

So, do you really LOVE your family?  Of course you do.  May I humbly propose that inactivity, passivity or indifference can lead to destruction of not just your neighbor but, ultimately, everything you hold dear.  We cannot afford to sit inactive.  We cannot afford to do or say nothing. 

Our very lives depend on it.

"Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer (German pastor martyred for opposing the Nazis)

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