The Catholic Almanac’s Emily Stimpson interviewed me for a piece in OSV titled, Our Brother’s Keeper. Fighting Apathy. Here’s a sample…
Surveying the cultural landscape, a growing number of commentators have diagnosed Americans’ declining interest in political and community involvement as one of apathy. But that, said Dr. Gregory Popcak, executive director of CatholicCounselors.com, is just another way of saying “sloth.”
“Sloth is apathy,” he explained. “It’s one of the seven deadly sins. It’s not laziness; it’s indifference. It’s an unwillingness to use my gifts and talents to affect the world around me. It’s me, out of a desire for a peaceful life, sticking my head in the sand and pretending every problem in the world is just small stuff that I don’t need to worry about.”
The sin of sloth
While decidedly less intriguing than its more well known counterparts — lust, pride, envy, gluttony, wrath and greed — sloth, or apathy, remains equally deadly. That’s true politically and socially, with lower volunteer activity leaving more work for the government to do and more basic human needs going unmet.
It’s also true spiritually.
“We find ourselves by making gifts of ourselves,” Popcak said. “God has given us to the world to be a gift. He’s counting on us to do something that only we can do. Each of us is unique and unrepeatable. If we don’t do our part, if we don’t do what God created us to do, it doesn’t get done, and God’s plan is frustrated.”
According to Popcak, post-modern culture is a breeding ground for that kind of frustration.
“We’re constantly bombarded in every way we can imagine by information about problems we can do nothing about,” he explained.
He went on to note that while once people lived in smaller communities and were primarily confronted by the solvable problems of friends and neighbors, today, “We don’t know our neighbors, but we know the intimate details of problems in every corner of the globe, which we’re often helpless to counter.”
It also doesn’t help that we’re a culture on the move. Increasing mobility — moving from town to town and job to job — makes people less inclined to care about and invest in the long-term welfare of their communities. Constant busyness — racing from school to work to the soccer field — does the same.
“If I’m too busy, I don’t have time to reflect,” Popcak said. “The busier I am, the less able I am to attend to my world and be the gift God wants me to be.” READ MORE
– See more at: https://www.osv.com/TodaysIssues/PoliticsandSocialIssues/Article/TabId/700/ArtMID/13747/ArticleID/16454/Our-brother%E2%80%99s-keeper-Fighting-apathy-in-our-world.aspx#sthash.FA1IHs5J.dpuf