though you have a voice in your head saying “Just do it”. Apathy makes it acceptable to sit back and watch. Apathy leads you away from the frontline and takes you into a world where nothing matters enough to fight for. Apathy blurs your sense of right and wrong. Apathy lets you dwindle into the everyday, and it tricks you into thinking that the mundane is momentous.
Apathy has been slowly smothering me for a while. Last night I met it face to face and saw it for what it was. Catching it off guard it had no pleasant mask to hide its ugliness, no excuses at the ready to make everything OK, and no tricks to fool me. I so nearly succumbed to it that I consider myself to have had an extremely lucky escape.
Apathy was telling me that it was fine not to go to Worcester University today. Despite having fought to get a place on the Recruitment and Selection Training Course I convinced myself that getting there was too much of an effort. I was comfortable with the idea of staying at home and pottering. The excuses came tumbling in. First it was public transport – too hard. Then it was my lack of energy – how can I get up early, negotiate trains and buses and be expected to contribute to the group? Next it was my self-esteem – they probably didn’t want me there anyway, and I’d be rubbish. And believe it or not the weather came into it. Too wet and windy. It’s far easier to snuggle up in my warm flat and stay safe. Apathy – you’re a crafty saboteur!
So why did I go? The “Should I?/ Shouldn’t I?” battle went on until the early hours of this morning. I was poised to ring in sick, but then something tripped a switch in my brain and my thinking pattern changed course. What the hell was I playing at? I’ve wanted this for a year, I know full well that completing this two-day course will open new doors for me, I have travelled to Worcester before and come back alive. Apathy – I WILL NOT LET YOU WIN! I began listening to the voice which was telling me I’d be proud of myself tonight if I forced myself to go through with it. Apathy’s voice still nagged away lying to me that it was better to stay at home and not bother.
As I pelted to the bus stop uncomfortably short of time, I could still hear Apathy piping up that if I missed the bus I should feel pleased that I’d made the effort in the first place. I might even be justified in “patting myself on the back”. Of course there was Action’s voice informing me that there was a train I could catch which would get me to Worcester in time. I arrived at the bus stop with a bedraggled Trudy (the rain was spitting on us contemptuously all the way) and we both stood there panting and feeling miserable. The dark grey sky was rationing out its beams of light so that the dismal atmosphere was intensified. The wind relentlessly thrusted rain shards into our skin. Apathy beckoned me home.
I was two minutes late, and there was no sign of any bus. Had I missed it? I secretly hoped so. I waited a further seven minutes before giving Trudy the “Forward” command to head back home. But she refused to move. Trudy had spied the bus rumbling towards us with “Adventure” billowing from its engine. I could have cried with relief. Trudy and I had beaten Apathy, and I was almost tempted to wave as we left it behind to get soaked in the rain.
As I had hoped, the Training day was incredibly worthwhile. Trudy behaved herself on and off duty and won several hearts with those Labrador eyes of hers. I felt part of the group and we had some refreshingly heated discussions about Equality and Diversity. They were the kind of discussions that thrill you and set off firework sparks in your head – the kind Apathy detests. Coming home on the train I felt truly exhausted to the point where I wondered if I would be able to walk across the platform at Hereford Railway Station. Yet with the exhaustion was a satisfaction that still has not left me, for knowing that I fought Apathy and won has given me extra strength.
I have learned today (better late than never) that surrendering to Apathy is turning your back on Adventure. Apathy might appear to be safe and neutral, but in fact it is toxic and suffocating. Apathy will snuff out the flame of life inside you and dull your identity so that you forget who are are and why you are here.